Updated 6:08pm — Rescue crews believe they heard cries for help from a woman trapped in her home after it was destroyed by a landslip at Kaiteriteri in the Tasman region this afternoon.
The 63-year-old woman was pulled from the collapsed home on Kaiteriteri-Sandy Bay Rd but she could not be revived.
Motueka Fire Station chief fire officer Mike Riddell said the house, which had been swept off its foundations, was “completely flattened and filled with mud”.
“I believe [the first emergency services personnel at the scene] were standing on the house and they were actually trying to yell out to the lady and trying to ascertain if she was there or not. We weren’t 100 per cent sure if she was there, there was just the car parked up the drive,” Mr Riddell said.
“They believe they may have heard someone yelling but then it stopped.
“They did find her reasonably quickly, I believe they did whatever they could do to revive. I don’t believe they had much success.”
Mr Riddell, who arrived at the scene with another fire service crew a short time later, said emergency services were hindered by other slips that had blocked roads around the Kaiteriteri area.
He said paramedics eventually had to walk at least 500m to reach the demolished home shortly after 1.15pm.
The slip that destroyed the house was not large but enough to push the home off its foundations, Mr Riddell said.
“It was directly behind the house [and] it’s just taken it off its foundations and rolled it down a bank.
“It’s been enough to demolish the house and push it over the edge.”
Mr Riddell said the region had been saturated by upwards of 200mm of rain since yesterday and more was expected overnight.
He said “a couple of other houses” within about 300m of the destroyed home had since been evacuated “through fears of slips”
on 16/06/2013 8:34am
55mm in the 18 hours to 8pm at Mapua. Nothing to compared to further west. Still mostly calm. Very steady and widespread moderate rain.
on 16/06/2013 1:43am
Only 30mm so far here in Mapua but it’s very persistent. Calm with the occasional easterly gust.