UPDATE: The earthquake has been upgraded to a 7.8 strength, from 7.5 on the Richter Scale.
It was a sleepless night last night here in New Zealand, after a 7.8 Richter Scale strength earthquake near Hamner Springs on the South Island’s east coast at 12.02am. This was felt throughout the country, followed later by a tsunami and many aftershocks.
We’re thinking of all our red meat sector colleagues affected. But, in an early round-up, it seems that major meat processing plants and ports are relatively unaffected by the quakes to date.
ANZCO’s processing sites are unaffected and operating normally, a spokesperson says, except for Marlborough, where the season’s processing has yet to start.
“There’s some broken glass and damage at Marlborough that needs to be tidied up but otherwise it appears to be fine. A structural check will occur there later today to confirm this.”
Both Alliance Group’s and Silver Fern Farms plants are said to all be open and there are no reports of damage.
While the Wellington port has had some damage, this is not a major meat exporting port. There have been no reports of damage to other meat exporting ports to date.
The quake’s epicentre and subsequent severe aftershocks have hit rural areas in the mid-South Island up to the north-east of the Island and help is scrambling to assist farmers who may need it.
- Federated Farmers says farmers who need help from other farmers should call its 0800 FARMING number, or try emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. More information from Feds is here.
- Beef + Lamb NZ has pulled together some information for sheep and beef farmers. Click here.
- DairyNZ has advice for dairy farmers.
The building housing Beef + Lamb NZ, the Meat Industry Association, Deer Industry NZ, the Red Meat Profit Partnership and Federated Farmers on Featherston Street in Wellington has been closed, along with many other buildings in the city’s CBD. At the time of writing, the organisations were awaiting engineers’ inspection which may take a day or two. Staff are working from virtual offices.