Banana Shire Mayor in earthquake
BANANA Shire Mayor John Hooper was in Christchurch on Saturday when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the region.
The council's chief executive, Ray Geraghty, told The Observer yesterday the Mayor was travelling with his wife on a holiday to New Zealand.
He said they were due to fly into Christchurch on Thursday and fly out to Queenstown on Saturday.
The quake struck at a depth of 16.1km about 30km northwest of Christchurch at 4.35am on Saturday.
“We are not too sure if he got caught up there or not,” Mr Geraghty said.
He said council was not concerned just yet as they felt if the Mayor were hurt or in trouble, he would have contacted council.
Gladstone residents who have relatives in Christchurch are shocked at the devastation of the earthquake, but pleased family members are safe.
Lynell Taramoeroa said her brother Shannon was staying in Christchurch's CBD with his girlfriend when the earthquake struck.
She said it took her two days to get in contact with her brother.
Ms Taramoeroa said Shannon's girlfriend, who worked in a children's cancer ward, had lost two patients as they scrambled to safety, disconnecting themselves from machines and dying through lack of medication.
Pip Chadwick, who comes from Christchurch, said she had contacted her family, and her 86-year-old grandmother said it (the earthquake) was the most terrifying thing she had ever experienced.