At the time I was a Senior Health and Safety Inspector for Department of Labour with formal skills acquired in construction/engineering/hazardous substances, the military and emergency services. I had real life experience of earthquakes when visiting the Middle East in 1968, followed by investigating a fatality at the Kermadec Islands as well as living in New Zealand for over 40yrs. (Now retired)
As I was based in Auckland, a call was received from head office requesting I provide briefing information on asbestos procedures and confined spaces to assist overseas volunteer emergency crews and commercial contractors prior to the recovery operation. This was to be followed by visits to Christchurch to ensure the safety practices were being followed. I am aware the practices continued on into the future where training schemes were introduced to industry.
It was most uncanny that just a few months later in May, following the Christchurch earthquake and tragic loss of life, I was lead inspector investigating the Albany Tornado, were children suffered serious harm and a construction worker lost his life when caught up in a tornado with winds up to 200klm and hour.