With a severe weather warning in place for Wellington, Wellingtonians should check and secure any cracked or broken glass around your home.
High winds, rain and thunder are forecast this evening, so we recommend doing this while it is still light.
Do all the things you would normally do when high winds are forecast including securing trampolines and other loose items.
If you live outside the central city, stay home and keep safe.
We are getting some calls to our contact centre from people who are at home and feeling scared. If you have people in your neighbourhood who are on their own, please check they are okay and offer support if you can.
Wellington City Civil Defence Controller Toni Thompson says people should avoid coming into the CBD if possible.
“If you live in the central business district, please stay where you are unless you’ve had instructions to leave your building,” she says. “If you don’t feel safe, we recommend you go to friends and family if possible.”
There is just one emergency assistance centre open in the central city at the moment:
- The Loaves and Fishes next to the Wellington Cathedral, 45 Molesworth Street.
Wellington City Council building inspectors and engineers have been systematically surveying the city this morning and assessing the exteriors of buildings for signs of obvious damage. This included the central city and main suburban centres.
There is a lot of broken glass and some buildings have sustained structural damage that will require further assessment by engineers.
There are likely to be some buildings that people won’t be able to return to for some time.
Building owners and managers are responsible for having their buildings assessed and making sure they are safe to occupy.
Ms Thompson says we haven’t been inside these buildings, so it is possible there will be significant damage in some that isn’t visible from the outside.
“That’s why it is so important for building owners and managers to have them assessed by engineers,” she says.
“Our staff have also checked roads and structures, including all of the city’s major bridges, tunnels and subways. There are some minor slips around town, mainly from the wet weather over the weekend, but nothing major, however we do have more wet weather on the way.”
The tsunami risk has been downgraded but is still in place for the south coast and inner harbour so to be on the safe side, don’t go out on the harbour and avoid the beaches.
Featherston Street is a no go area. Parts of the street, and adjacent side streets, are currently closed to traffic and pedestrians as there is a risk of falling glass.
For safety reasons, please stay out of the areas that are cordoned off.
Power is still out in Makara.
Residents are advised to listen to Radio NZ (101.3 FM) for further details.
For further updates follow us on Facebook or Twitter or refer to Wellington Region Emergency Management (WREMO).