Nelson hit by earthquake as hospitalised Tupou awaits confirmation of diagnosis

Nelson, where Tongan fruit picker Heneli Tupou is hospitalised in a serious condition, was hit by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake yesterday afternoon.

Tupou, of Tatakamotonga, was in New Zealand on the Regional Seasonal Employment programme.

Kaniva News understands that specialists were expected to confirm their diagnosis yesterday (November 14).

As reported, Tupou’s wife ‘Asinate has been sending him messages of encouragement via Facebook.

The Nelson Mail quoted Nelson Marlborough Health acting chief executive Peter Bramley as saying hospital facilities across Nelson and Blenheim were still open.

Bramley said staff had worked through the night to ensure all patients were safe.

Radio New Zealand quoted the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board saying that inspections had shown that hospitals in Nelson and Wairau were safe and services running normally,

The 6.2 earthquake struck 30km north of Cheviot at a depth of 50km, at 1.34pm.

The Mail quoted one residents as saying the quake “seemed to go on forever.”

The Nelson City Council lists the chimney stack, boiler house and coal bunker at Nelson Hospital as earthquake prone.