Yesterday’s earthquake in Canterbury struck about the time farm workers were getting herds in for milking.
An email from Fonterra says there have been no reports of injuries on farms and all the company’s staff are safe.
There was minimal damage to the Plains manufacturing site but no impact on production and some racking damage at the NZ Brands Halswell Junction Distribution centre.
Fonterra was able to pick up milk from farms although some herds couldn’t be milked because of no power and there were reports that some rotary sheds were badly damaged.
The company had four tankers loaded with water at Clandeboye ready to go to community if needed.
While farms need power for milking in many other ways it may be easier to cope without important basic services in the country than towns.
Water from troughs or streams can be boiled for drinking and if plumbing fails it would be easier to dig a long drop on a farm than in a city section.
One common reaction from both town and country is that it could have been much worse and it’s fortunate there were few serious injuries to people.
Things are only things and not as important as people, but as the shock and relief wears off, the impact of loss and damage to property will sink in.