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Selwyn Times: November 15, 2016

Selwyn Times: November 15,

FREE TUESday NOVEMBER 15 2016 379 7100 Selwyn Times Proudly locally owned and published by Star Media Award winning publishing group Kea (Nestor Notabilis) Ladbrooks, Tai Tapu, Leeston, Lincoln, Southbridge, Prebbleton, Halswell, Rolleston, Templeton, Burnham, West Melton, Darfield, Arthurs Pass Evacuation ignored by some • By Tom Doudney ABOUT 75 people were evacuated from the settlements of Rakaia Huts and Taumutu/Fisherman’s Point after a tsunami warning was issued – but about half chose to stay. The tsunami warning and evacuation order were issued at about 1am yesterday after a magnitude 7.5 earthquake near Hanmer Springs and a series of strong aftershocks. A civil defence emergency centre was established at Southbridge Hall, with up to 60 people present overnight. Rakaia Huts resident Pam Williamson was one of those evacuated to the hall after a call from a civil defence co-ordinator. “I called as many people as I could to let them know that evacuation was on the agenda and I would say about 50 per cent [of people] took advantage of going down to the Southbridge Hall,” Mrs Williamson said. She wasn’t frightened about the tsunami, more annoyed at having to leave her cosy bed and warm fire. “But it’s too late to leave when you see the wave coming isn’t it, you can’t outrun them.” About half of residents had chosen to leave and half had stayed behind but the evacuation had been orderly and without panic. However, after returning home in the morning she had been surprised to come across two young men intent on taking a boat out into the water. Yesterday, authorities were still warning people to stay off beaches and out of the water due to the risk of unpredictable strong currents. “I said just consider yourself told that it’s not okay and left it at that,” Mrs Williamson said. “It was absolute stupidity but their call, I guess.” Mrs Williamson said she stayed at the Southbridge Hall between 1.30am and 7am when residents were told they could return home. People at the hall had been upbeat about the situation, she said. “I think everybody there felt they had made the right decision.” There were no reports of any significant damage in Selwyn to infrastructure, including roads, bridges and water supplies, as a result of the earthquake but crews were still inspecting the roading network. HAVE A HUG: West Melton children Grace and Archie Chaplin meet Civil Defence mascot Stan at the Canterbury A&P Show in Christchurch on Wednesday. They were among many children from Selwyn and around Canterbury who enjoyed visiting the annual show during the week. •More photos, page 7 PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN Your local luxury Convenient Location Free Car Parking Local Luxury of Choice Find out more about our stores at rollestonsquare.co.nz 70-76 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston | 9 Masefield Drive (entry from Countdown and McCauley Street) ANZ Portabank | ASB ATM | BNZ | Coffee Culture | Corianders | Expoz’ Art | Fascino Shoes | Harcourt’s | helloworld | Highgate Hair Monkey Spices | Postie | Ray White | Robert Harris | Rolleston Bakery | Rolleston Central Health | Rolleston Drycleaners Rolleston Florist and Gifts | Rolleston Haircuts | Snap Fitness | Subway | Unichem | Viva La Moda | The Warehouse | Westpac rollestonsquare.co.nz Ph 03 347 9192 Proudly managed by Colliers Real Estate Management Limited