Updated September 2011
The 6.3 magnitude earthquake which hit New Zealand on 22 February left more than 180 people dead and at least 2,500 injured. Parts of Christchurch were devastated and many houses could not be rebuilt.
The earthquake left some survivors stranded in damaged homes with no power, no water, no sewerage and no way of contacting anyone. In response to the disaster the New Zealand Red Cross sent out volunteer emergency response teams to conduct urban search and rescue, door-to-door outreach and psychosocial support. Following the earthquake more than 45,000 people registered with the Red Cross, which worked to reconnect families separated in the disaster.
The Red Cross also helped to supply clean water and distribute water containers, soap and hygiene information. Staff and volunteers at welfare centres supported people as they worked through the challenges they faced.
Long term recovery
The New Zealand Red Cross is now helping people look towards the future. On 2 March 2011 it established an earthquake commission to oversee the use of appeal funds. Money donated to appeals internationally is being distributed as emergency and hardship grants for people forced to leave their home because of damage, or for people with no water, power or sewerage. Grants are also being given to bereaved or vulnerable people, and to the families of children whose education has been disrupted.