Recovery phase

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, March 4th, 2011 - 4 comments
Categories: disaster - Tags: ,

As was well covered by various media yesterday, the operation in Christchurch has moved from “rescue” to “recovery”. In other words, they are no longer expecting to rescue people alive from the wreckage, but only to recover the bodies.

Teams have rescued 70 people, but the last person to be found alive was on February 23, just 25 hours after the quake. The current official death toll is 163, with “more than 200” people still missing.

I know that the thoughts of the whole country are with those in Christchurch, especially the family and friends of the dead and missing. And the thanks of the whole country are with the rescue teams and other workers, who have done everything humanly possible in very dangerous circumstances. Thank you all.

4 comments on “Recovery phase”

  1. Bill 1

    Anybody got any background info regarding the rescue team that flew in, comprising people from Mexico, Chile and another country that escapes my memory? I’m assuming they are experienced and trained (they deployed in Haiti).

    From what TV3 said last night (in what struck me as a particularly patronising piece), they weren’t allowed to operate in the CBD because they lacked UN accreditation. Anyone know what that’s about?

    I understand the need to ensure that any teams or members thereof are cognisant with current best practise etc. But these guys seemed to be victims of over zealous bureaucratic box ticking or some such. My initial thoughts drew parallels with the Beyond Resistence people being refused access to resources by the Salvation Army because they were ‘not the right sort’.

    Maybe I’ve got the wrong end of the stick. Dunno. Maybe they are just well meaning but inexperienced global citizens. But given the information I have, something’s not quite sitting right. Anyone got any relevant info?

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      I’m not sure if it has anything specifically to do with training, but I did see it mentioned with regards to the Israeli S & R team that was denied to act in the disaster. For starters, that appeared to be a private company that happened to be in CHCH at the time, rather than an official team sent by the government.

      But as part of the UN requirements, the teams have to be self-deploying, self-managing and self-sufficient, such that they put no additional stress in terms of food, water or shelter on the disaster area that they’re working in. The UK and Japanese teams for example came over with container loads of heavy moving equipment, fuel, clothing, food, shelter, water, medical supplies etc.

    • RascallyRabbit 1.2

      With regards to the UN accreditation thing what I had heard was that the family of two Israeli victims had arranged their own team (much like private investigators I assume) and they were the ones not allowed in the cordon – I have seen footage or images somewhere of the Mexican and Chilean teams inside the cordon.

      Must say there needs to be a big shout-out to the Aussies – I just saw another C-17 fly in across the city delivering yet more aid.

  2. We all have been impressed by the work and expertise shown by the rescue teams and Civil Defence and the willing explanations to the media that have been reassuring that everything possible is being done.

    Glad we didn’t have Halliburton or similar send a team here. There must be a way for them to get paid for helping people in distress. The mercenary angle is alive and well in so many areas of life. It will be a new profit centre for them if we can quieten the battles and destruction therefrom sometime.

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