Did That Big Earthquake in New Zealand Affect Hunting Areas?


Published: March - 2011

At press time much world media attention was focused on the devastation caused by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand, at about 1 pm local time on the afternoon of Tuesday, February 22, 2010. Though less powerful than the 7.1 magnitude quake that struck the same area last September, this quake was shallower (five kilometers) and centered closer to the city of Christchurch, causing massive damage. At this writing, about 15 hours after the quake, the death toll was listed at 75 people and expected to go higher with more than 300 people missing. No deaths resulted from the September quake.

We hadn't been able to reach New Zealand correspondent Greg Morton, who lives in Christchurch, and we are very concerned for him and his family as well as for the unfortunate people affected by this natural disaster. We were able to talk to Rodney Smith of Sunspots Safaris (800-266-6132; www.big gamehuntingnewzealand.com) a booking agent featured in a story by Morton in our February issue (see page 12).

Smith told us that most of the major damage had been to buildings and infrastructure within Christ- church itself, that the airport and many of the more modern hotels nearby had apparently escaped largely unscathed. Though Sunspots did not have any clients in country or in transit when the quake hit, Smith told us he had spoken to all of his hunting outfitters on the South Island and that none had sustained any injuries or significant damage. "The greatest impact to hunters visiting this area this season is likely to be to their pre- and post-hunt itineraries, especially in Christchurch itself."

If you have a hunt on tap for New Zealand's South Island any time in the near future, we suggest you contact your booking agent or operator. But at this time, it appears the hunting season is not in jeopardy, and the region could probably use a steady stream of hunter's dollars to help with the recovery.

........(continued)

 
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