Kaiapoi's main street reopened as cleanup continues

10:46 am on 9 September 2010

A massive cleanup effort is continuing in Kaiapoi - one of the towns worst hit by the Canterbury earthquake.

A civil defence emergency remains in place, as does a curfew in Kaiapoi, Pines Beach and Kairaki.

But progress is being made, with the road through Kaiapoi's town centre reopened to traffic on Wednesday afternoon.

The Waimakariri District Council's utilities and roading manager, Gerard Cleary, says about 90% of Kaiapoi now has water back on, and it has been fully restored in Pines Beach and Kairaki.

A boil-water notice remains in place in Kaiapoi, Pines Beach, Kairaki and Woodend. There is significant damage to sewer pipes.

Hundreds have moved out

Waimakariri District Mayor Ron Keating says the council will be doing all it can to support those traumatised by the earthquake and encouraging them not to move away.

The council estimates that as many as 500 households have moved out temporarily.

With more than 1800 residential properties assessed, 97 are considered unsafe and access is restricted to another 274.

Mr Keating says the Kaiapoi community is resilient, but he is worried that those living in the worst affected areas might decide to leave for good.

He says the council has had people going door-to-door checking on residents who live alone to make sure they are coping with the stress of the earthquake and its aftershocks.

Meanwhile, the welfare centre in Kaiapoi has sent out an urgent appeal for bread and nappies.

The centre - which is based at the rugby clubrooms in Smith St - is providing shelter, food and water for anyone in need.