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Saturday, 19 January 2019 04:06 pm

Newtown businesses soldier on with tsunami warnings, aftershocks

Nov 14th, 2016 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Latest News, Most Popular

opportunity40Several Newtown businesses opened their doors this morning despite tsunami warnings and aftershocks leaving most of the suburb’s businesses closed.

Adam Cohn (36), a volunteer at Opportunity for Animals, right, arrived at the Riddiford St charity shop at 2am.

“I came down to check that the alarm wasn’t triggered, to check that we still had our windows, but we’re fine.”

Cohn says he wasn’t the one that opened up this morning, but he spoke to the person who did.

“Apparently our jewellery cabinet had popped open and some stuff had kind of fallen a bit, and a vase had fallen over and smashed, but that was it.”

He was surprised by the lack of damage in the store.

“I took a look out back and I couldn’t believe it because we’ve got stuff stacked on shelves, and nothing’s fallen off.”

The charity shop volunteer says he has been keeping an eye on things through the news, and Civil Defence website.

“I checked the maps for the tsunamis and everything to check where in Wellington you need to evacuate, but none of the areas reached into Newtown here.”

He believes Wellington will face aftershocks for at least six months.

“I was down in Christchurch for all the quakes except the one that really levelled the city, and they’ve been receiving aftershocks for what, a year, two years?”

Chan Sophal (32), of Friendly Bakery, describes the moment the earthquake hit her home last night.

“Strong shake. TV and mirror, all broken. Ran out, ran out.”

Sophal says she made her way to the bakery, deciding to sleep there instead, but her uncle called her to warn of potential tsunamis.

“He told me, go to sleep in Brooklyn. Didn’t sleep at all. Too scared.”

She says although she decided to open today, she may not have the stamina to maintain the bakery’s usual hours.

“Very tired. Maybe tomorrow we will close.”

Bharatz Patel (59) says damage was minor at her Kids r us store.

“Things had fallen over, but it was quite superficial.”

Patel says opening the store today was an easy decision for her.

“I wanted to get away (from home), because where we live is by the sea.”

She also believes the quakes will continue.

“I’m waiting for the big one. There’s a big one coming.”

At Book Haven, Don, who preferred not to give his last name, says opening his store is just too “compulsive” for him to consider otherwise.

“We’ve had some aftershocks, and I shoo people out of the shop. It’s not a safe place to be.”

Panic unfolded when a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Hanmer Springs, North Canterbury just after 12am last night.

The quake reached Wellington soon after.

Two people have been confirmed dead in Canterbury, while further reports of casualties are coming in.

Wellingtonians have been warned to steer clear of the Capital’s CBD and shorelines.

Many schools in the areas have also been closed while damage is assessed.

Police are investigating at least 19 cases in which vacated houses have been targeted by burglars, according to Radio New Zealand.

The cost of the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks is estimated to be billions of dollars, according to Prime Minister John Key.

COUNCIL HELPLINE: 499 4444

EMERGENCY SITUATIONS: 111

book600

Book Haven, open for business in Newtown’s mostly empty streets.

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