On Saturday 4 September at 4:30am an earthquake of 7.1 in magnitude hit Canterbury in the South Island of New Zealand. Fortunately no-one was killed but a large number of buildings in and around Christchurch were destroyed and many homes were damaged. The region has continued to be rocked by a number of aftershocks that have caused further damage. The aftershocks are reducing in frequency and magnitude and the regions is now moving from the response phase to the recovery and rebuilding phase. The Prime Minister has said that the Canterbury earthquake will be the most costly natural disaster New Zealand has ever faced. The Treasury has put the overall cost at about $4 billion but the Government says that is a very early estimate and clearly expects it to rise. Orica is playing its part in helping with the recovery by donating NZ$10,000 to the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal.
We're pleased to report that the Orica team and their families are OK, none of our people were hurt. There was significant damage to the racking in our Hornby warehouse with the loss of some stock. All dangerous goods stored on site were secure and there was no loss of containment other than a few drums of lubricant. The Christchurch team, supported by their Orica colleagues, have worked tirelessly under difficult circumstances, to restore the warehouse to working order. All lost product has been cleared, and the most severely damaged racking removed. All the racking will need to be replaced in due course. The warehouse is now operating as a single level store.
There is considerable damage to businesses around Canterbury and many of Orica's customers and suppliers have been affected. We're working with our customers and suppliers to get back to business as usual as soon as possible. Thanks to everyone involved for working so well together at this challenging time.