Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) is advising of
a number of port and infrastructure issues following New Zealand’s biggest
earthquake in 150 years. The earthquake, measuring a magnitude of 7.5, struck
the upper South Island of New Zealand at midnight local time on 14 November.
Aftershocks are continuing in the upper South
Island and Wellington region, some over a magnitude of 6. A tsunami warning was
withdrawn early this morning, with unusual tidal surges and currents continuing
throughout the day. ISS was involved in the evacuation of a number of ships to
sea overnight after a tsunami warning was issued. These vessels have now
returned back into the ports.
Only the ports of Wellington and Picton have
currently issued damage notifications, with an advisory note released by
Wellington authorities stating that both the port and wharf gates will remain
closed for the next seven days. No ship or cargo operations will be
permitted. As and when certain sections are cleared by engineers selective
operations may be allowed to recommence during this period.
Wellington has gantry crane issues, wharf
subsidence and log pile collapses. Cook Strait cargo/pax ferries are all at
anchor as terminals at Wellington and Picton have substantial damage. There are
reports of damage to wharves and the inter-island ferry terminal. The forestry
and cruise berth at Shakespeare Bay has reported damage and subsidence.
Engineering assessments are currently being undertaken.
Lyttelton/Christchurch port reopened at 1400
today and reports no structural damage. Railway and road access to the port has
been declared safe and operative.
Power has been restored to all major
cities. Rail - Upper South
island and lines in the Wellington region are closed with buckling of lines and
earth slips. These are heavy in the upper south island and some major rail lines
could be closed for weeks.
– In coastal areas and highways linking Christchurch to Picton roads are closed
(along with the rail line on this route).
ISS New Zealand will continue to monitor
developments and keep its clients updated.