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Murray McCully

24 February, 2011

Media update: Offers of international assistance

Foreign Minister Murray McCully this morning confirmed that there are now 300 international search and rescue personnel in Christchurch, from four international contributors, working alongside New Zealanders to boost rescue efforts following the devastating earthquake.

Support from the United States is due to arrive overnight and from the United Kingdom tomorrow morning, boosting the number of search and rescue personnel by 130.

"We welcome Australia’s announcement that a field hospital is on its way and will arrive this afternoon. The field hospital will provide an additional 75 beds and relieve pressures created by the 150 beds out of commission at Christchurch Hospital. It will be staffed by some of the Australian medical personnel already on the ground and New Zealand medical personnel," says Mr McCully.

"We are most grateful for all the international specialist search and rescue contributions. Everything that we can do at this critical time will increase our chances of rescuing people.

"We are deeply appreciative of the generous offers of assistance we are still receiving, and we continue to assess those offers based on the needs on the ground," says Mr McCully.

Now in Christchurch are:

  • From Australia: Two urban search and rescue teams totalling 142 personnel (72 NSW and 70 Queensland) and three dogs. A disaster medical assistance team comprising 23 emergency and surgical personnel.
  • From Japan: An urban search and rescue team of 67 personnel with three dogs arrived 4:00am today.
  • From Taiwan: An urban search and rescue team of 24 personnel with two dogs arrived 12midnight 23 February.
  • From Singapore: The first part of an urban search and rescue team totalling 55 personnel with four dogs has arrived. In addition, 116 Singaporean Defence Force Personnel who were already in New Zealand are now helping with the security cordon around the Christchurch CBD.
  • From the UK: Six Fire Service search and rescue experts have arrived. This is the advance party of an urban search and rescue team totalling 55 personnel.

Arriving today:

  • From Singapore: The remainder of its urban search and rescue team is expected to arrive later today. In addition, Singapore’s two C130 aircraft carrying the second urban search and rescue team may also be available to transport people from Christchurch to Auckland if required.
  • From Australia: A field hospital providing 75 beds is due to arrive this afternoon.

Arriving tomorrow:

  • From the USA: An urban search and rescue team of 80 personnel plus 40 tonnes of equipment is due to arrive at 1:00am 25 February.
  • From the UK: The main party of an urban search and rescue team totalling 55 personnel is due to arrive 10:30am on 25 February.
  • From Australia: 300 Australian police personnel will arrive 25 February to help with the security around the Christchurch CBD.
  • Murray McCully
  • Earthquake Recovery
  • Foreign Affairs