Wild weather poses fresh risk to Christchurch


Quake-devastated Christchurch is bracing for a bout of wild weather which could send clouds of silt through the air, potentially affecting people with respiratory problems.Mayor Bill Parker warned blustery winds were forecast for this afternoon, which could be harmful to some people.Loose debris and unsound structures also posed a risk, he said.Meanwhile, rescuers have abandoned work around Christchurch’s Hotel Grand Chancellor site because the building is so unstable and may collapse.There were two arrests overnight. One person has been charged with breaching the cordon and another charged over impersonating an urban search and rescue officer and with carrying a knife, a police baton and an axe. The incident management team was replaced today and Mr Parker said that teams in the field were also beginning to experience fatigue.About 55,000 households, or 35 per cent of the city, continues to struggle without water, while 10,000 people are in need of temporary housing. Mr Parker also said “there will inevitably be an inquiry at some level. Personally, I believe there should be an inquiry.” He said that the government needed to decide what form the inquiry should take. Mr Parker said it was going to be important for the future of the city to examine the perception about the safety of the city, and they can’t achieve that without a very open process where we analyse what has happened.