Quake town: 'It's like we've been forgotten'

Like Kaikoura, Oaro has been isolated by road damage (Newshub.)
Like Kaikoura, Oaro has been isolated by road damage (Newshub.)

Residents in the tiny east coast settlement of Oaro say they are running out of drinkable water and are frustrated nobody has come to check on them.

Road access to Oaro, 15km south of Kaikoura, was cut off in Monday morning's magnitude-7.5 earthquake, and the settlement is without running water and electricity.

Christine Calder's parents, Owen and Lynette Gurden, live in Oaro and Ms Calder says they feel like they've been forgotten.

"Dad said water is their main concern. They're getting low on bottled water. They need it as soon as possible," she says.

Ms Calder has only been able to have intermittent contact with her parents, because they are trying to conserve their cellphone batteries and the network is only working intermittently.

She says her parents have been watching helicopters "just continuously flying over them", even though there are places in Oaro where they could easily land.

"Just because [the area] looks okay doesn't mean they don't need help."

Kaikoura MP Stuart Smith reassured Oaro residents they haven't been forgotten and says he has relayed their plight to Mayor Winston Gray, who said they would be trying to gain access to the area today.

With limited resources it is a matter of doing what they can, when they can, Mr Smith says.

Ms Calder says her parents have no idea when support will arrive, but says in the meantime the small community of about 60 residents has banded together to support each other.

Fortunately, nobody is injured and there has only been minimal damage to buildings.

Update: Civil Defence reached Oaro on Tuesday evening and delivered water to the residents.


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