Thursday, March 3, 2011

Christchurch, New Zealand - Earthquake Update

Just over a week ago, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck very near Christchurch, one of the "must see" cities on the South Island of New Zealand.  The devastation caused by this earthquake severely impacts travelers bound for this destination.

NZ Civil Defense officials have assessed the condition of over 12,000 properties (largely in the central city area) and have deemed over 1,400 of these as "off limits" and in danger of collapse at any time.  The city continues to experience regular aftershocks which threaten to cause further damage.

The city center area remains cordoned off from public access as search & rescue teams forge onward with recovery operations.  Although many hotels ARE open, we recommend avoiding traveling into the city of Christchurch for at least the next two months while the recovery operation continues.

We still recommend traveling and tours to the South Island, and remind everyone that Christchurch airport, a gateway to many South Island tours, remains fully operational.

Obviously, the situation in Christchurch continues to evolve.  MY TRAVEL AGENT and our many travel partners will continue to monitor the news coming out of this beautiful region of New Zealand so that we can advise our clients properly regarding any travel plans you may have.