More than 1000 help in quake clean up

10:03 pm on 19 June 2011

About 1200 volunteers turned out in Christchurch over this weekend to help clear silt from quake-hit properties in the eastern suburbs including New Brighton, Dallington and Shirley.

On Saturday, around 730 people gave their time to the joint Farmy Army/Student Volunteer Army operation and on Sunday about 450 people turned out.

Thirty-seven teams of 20 people each were sent out to the suburbs of Avonside and Bexley, both badly affected by liquefaction from the latest major tremors, last Monday.

The teams used shovels and wheelbarrows to get at parts of properties not accessible by larger machinery.

Federated Farmers spokesperson John Hartnell says one of the drivers using large machinery said he took 60 tonnes of silt from one section.

The volunteers are from Christchurch, the wider Canterbury region and further afield. People have come from Wellington, Blenheim and Gore.

They're being fed by Rural Women New Zealand, who on Saturday night laid on dinner for 250 workers.

The Farmy Army organisers are urging people with heavy liquefaction to ring the council earthquake number so that volunteers can be sent out to help.