The insurance industry faces damage claims of between $3.5 billion and $8 billion from Tuesday’s devastating earthquake around Christchurch, and this is only one of the issues concerning local industries in New Zealand. Considerable damage has been reported in the Christchurch Central Business District and in Lyttelton, and a state of national emergency has been declared for the area affected, expected to last for seven days at this stage. The state of national emergency does not affect other areas of New Zealand, and travelers intending to travel to or from Christchurch over the next seven days are advised to avoid any non-essential travel.
Travelers in the affected area cannot use trains for transportation purposes, as all trains in the Christchurch region are stopped until further notice. The ‘TranzAlpine’ which operates Christchurch/Arthurs Pass/Greymouth and Greymouth/Arthurs Pass/Christchurch train services and the ‘TranzCoastal’ Christchurch/Kaikoura/Blenheim/Picton and Picton/Blenheim/Kaikoura/Christchurch train services will resume on 01 March.
Lyttelton Port operations are currently suspended. All New Zealand airports, including Christchurch are open and operating, however, travelers planning to visit New Zealand are advised advised to check with their airline or travel agent before commencing travel in case of delays, especially to the affected area. Departing passengers should not go to the airport unless they have confirmation their flight is scheduled. Latest information is at www.christchurchairport.co.nz.