Navy to help survey damage after 7.5 quake rocks New Zealand
The Navy is helping New Zealand emergency services respond to a series of earthquakes, including sending the first U.S. warship to visit New Zealand in more than 30 years.
The Navy said in a statement that a P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft will survey damage near Kaikoura — a South Island town near the epicenter of the largest quake, Sunday’s 7.5-magnitude temblor that killed two people and caused widespread damage.
“The USS Sampson ... is now on its way to Kaikoura, where it will deploy two MH60 helicopters to help as required. The U.S. has also offered a P-3 Orion for surveillance flights,” Defense Minister Gerry Brownlee said, according to the New Zealand Herald.
New Zealand air force helicopters were evacuating scores of people from the town, which remains cut off by landslides as hundreds of aftershocks rock the area. Kaikoura, home to about 2,000 inhabitants, is a popular destination for tourists on whale-watching expeditions or mountain excursions.
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