Electrical fire – ground floor of the Riverside Block, Christchurch Hospital
There was small electrical fire in a control panel located on the ground floor of the Riverside Block at Christchurch Hospital this afternoon. It occurred at approximately 4:00pm this afternoon. CDHB’s smoke detection system identified smoke from melted PVC cables in the very early stages. The incident was attended to by CDHB maintenance and engineering staff.
It is believed the fire was caused by dislodged wiring as a result of ongoing quakes and aftershocks. All other control panels in the hospital are being inspected.
As a result of the fire heating pumps in the Riverside Block stopped working, however, CDHB’s maintenance staff now have the system back up and running.
Dialysis service: At present CDHB is dialysing an additional nine patients from the community in the unit – people who have lost power or water (or both) at home. The service is running to maximum capacity. One additional shift has been held this week to accommodate the increase in patients.
Elective surgery has resumed except at Burwood where operating theatres remain closed, however, plastic skin lesion clinics are operating tomorrow (Friday).
Outpatient clinics running as normal with patients encouraged to phone the department if they cannot attend
Specialist Mental Health Service outpatient appointments are continuing as usual.
Planned and emergency Caesarean sections at Christchurch Women’s Hospital are going ahead.
Primary birthing units are operating as usual.
Canterbury DHB Buildings are still being inspected but no serious structural issues have been identified.
The Emergency Department at Christchurch Hospital is open.
Repatriation of aged care residents evacuated after the February 22 earthquake is continuing as scheduled.
Home based support services are prioritising visits to vulnerable clients in the worst affected areas.
Important public health information
Boil or treat all water from taps and tankers before drinking, brushing teeth or using in food preparation.
· Bringing water to the boil is sufficient to kill bugs. Water needs to be boiled even if the smell or taste of chlorine is present. If you cannot boil water, treat it by adding one teaspoon of household bleach per 10 litres of water and leave for 30 minutes.
· The City Council and Public Health are working together to test water supplies in Christchurch and will update this advice as soon as we have a clear idea of how the water supply has been impacted by the aftershocks.
· Employers should also make sure their staff are only consuming boiled or bottled water at work. This applies for workplaces with self-supplied water, until testing can be completed and the supply can be cleared of risk. It also applies to water filtered through a water cooler.
· All Christchurch residents are urged to use water and toilets sparingly, as the sewerage system cannot cope with large volumes of wastewater.
Ensure you and your family keep warm – particularly if there are elderly, chronically ill or young people in your household.
· If you do not have electricity at this stage, make plans to stay warm tonight by using heating units that do not rely on electricity (such as solid fuel heaters) or arrange to stay with friends or family with power.
Do not stay in your home if it is not weather tight.
· Make sure your family dress warmly even when inside.
· If you still have no power, take particular care with perishable food.
· Take care in using perishable food that should be refrigerated.
· Dispose of smelly, slimy, mouldy or discoloured food immediately.
· Keep your freezer closed as long as possible to help keep food frozen for a while.
· Do not refreeze defrosted food once power returns.
Take steps to avoid sewage contamination from broken pipes.
· People should avoid sewage even if it is on their properties. They should also avoid contact with silt that may have been contaminated with sewage.
Avoid contact with rivers, sea water, ponds, puddles or other surface water. Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser often, particularly after toileting and before and after eating or preparing food.
If you feel ill seek assistance or advice sooner rather than later.
· Most General Practice Teams (GPs) and pharmacies in the city are open. If you need medical assistance contact your GP in the first instance.
· If it’s an emergency dial 111.
· Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially from your family or neighbours.
· Keep an eye out for each other, especially if there are vulnerable people (e.g. the elderly or someone unwell) in your neighbourhood.
Welfare and Support Contacts
The New Zealand Red Cross and the Salvation Army are operating a number of mobile welfare units in the eastern suburbs.
Red Cross are offering financial assistance to people aged over 65 years or with children under five years and who live in a damaged home a $100 a month direct to the power company to take off the household bill, to assist with winter heating. Up to 8000 households may be eligible for a grant. Applications are being accepted for the over 65s until June 27 and for the under fives until July 6. For more information: http://www.redcrosseqgrants.org.nz/Overview/Information/Winter%20Assistance%20Grant.htm
Relationship Services earthquake counselling line (0800 RELATE)
The Government Emergency Response line (GERL, 0800 779 997)
The MoH Healthline – (0800 611 116) for free 24-hour health advice within New Zealand – calls are free from a cell phone
The Salvation Army takes general enquiries at (03) 377 0799 during working hours, and will refer any clients who request counselling assistance.
All Canterbury primary care practices can either provide mental health or counselling services, or refer as appropriate. Phone your own General Practice team for more information.
More links and information about where to get support can be found on the Ministry Of Health’s Christchurch Earthquake page:
Coping with anxiety and stress
It’s normal to feel distressed and for it to last days or weeks. It’s important to:
· Allow enough time to heal physically and mentally.
· Seek support from friends and family.
· Some people find it helpful to talk about what has happened to them, whereas others prefer not to discuss it. Either strategy is fine, provided you feel able to choose what you do.
· More information about how to cope with stress and anxiety can be found at: http://www.healthinfo.org.nz/ then click on ‘Earthquake Stress’. For further assistance you can also contact the Canterbury Support line on 0800 777 846
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