Police officers including those skilled in disaster victim identification roles are travelling to Christchurch as part of the emergency response to today's 6.3 earthquake.
About 200 staff from have been mobilised as part of the immediate response with another 130 expected to travel in the next few days to support their Canterbury colleagues and other agencies deal with this latest tragedy.
Staff responding tonight and within the next 24 hours:
- 50 officers from the Wellington Police District including two DVI officers and two recovery dogs are travelling by ferry and road to the South Island tonight
- 20 Tasman District are heading in by road tonight
- 20 Southern District staff are responding by road tonight and a further 43 tomorrow morning
- 30 officers including six DVI staff and two recovery dogs are travelling from the wider Auckland Districts tomorrow.
Another 130 staff are being drawn from other police districts as part of the second phase. The out of town police staff are equipped to be self sufficient for five days - taking sleeping bags, some water and food stuffs with them.
Police are urging people to stay out of the Christchurch central city business area. Overnight rain is not helping the situation but emergency services and disaster response agencies are continuing all possible efforts to search buildings in the CBD and other parts of the city.