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Murray McCully

1 March, 2011

Media update: International assistance received

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today confirmed that more than 900 international personnel from over 12 international contributors are working shoulder to shoulder with New Zealanders on the rescue operation in Christchurch following the devastating 6.3-magnitude earthquake. The rescue effort is supported by numerous international volunteers.

Search and rescue assistance received to date:

  • Australia - two urban search and rescue teams totalling 142 personnel (72 from New South Wales and 70 from Queensland) and three dogs.
  • Japan - an urban search and rescue team of 67 personnel with three dogs.
  • China - a team of 10 urban search and rescue personnel and equipment.
  • Singapore - an urban search and rescue team of 56 personnel including four dogs.
  • Taiwan - an urban search and rescue team of 24 personnel and two dogs.
  • United Kingdom - an urban search and rescue team of 64 personnel.
  • United States - an urban search and rescue team of around 80 personnel, plus 40 tonnes of equipment.

Police assistance received:

Australia has provided 323 police officers who are working with New Zealand Police.

Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) assistance received:

Experts from Japan, UK, Israel, Singapore, China and Thailand are already operating or will be arriving over the next few days to work with the New Zealand DVI teams. They will join Australian experts who arrived with the police deployment on 25 February.

Other assistance received:

  •  Australia has sent a 23-person medical team consisting of emergency and surgical personnel, and a 75-bed medical field hospital.
  • Japan has sent a team of four counsellors, four fingerprint experts and an interpreter. They are also providing fibre optic inspection scopes, cisterns, sleeping bags and tarpaulins.
  • Singapore has 116 Defence Force Personnel on the ground supporting the security cordon in Christchurch.
  • Korea and Malaysia are sending volunteer teams to support their respective communities in Christchurch.
  • Mexico has sent a volunteer team of search and rescue experts which is assisting the rescue operation in wider Christchurch.
  • United States experts are carrying out a joint assessment with New Zealand counterparts of buildings in the Christchurch central business district. The outcome of this assessment will determine whether further demolition assistance will be required.

Assistance arriving:

  • Korea is contributing 1,000 sheets of reinforced plastic sheeting, over 1,000 collapsible 10-litre plastic jerry cans, 200 small tents, over 1,000 blankets, and up to 50 power generators (220V/50Hz), all expected to arrive 3 March.
  • Japan – from Christchurch’s sister city Kurashiki – will donate 1,000 plastic sheets and 2,000 6-litre water tanks.
  • Australia is sending sanitation resources, such as camp toilets, with additional supplies under consideration.
  • Murray McCully
  • Earthquake Recovery
  • Foreign Affairs