The following is the latest information we have received since learning of reports of the earthquake in New Zealand this morning. We will provide periodic updates.
Updated 11/15/2016 8:50 AM MST
NZSF-3: Instructors from the course contacted NOLS New Zealand 11/14/16 and informed us that all is well. They will continue their course as planned.
NZSF-4: The course has moved from the town of Hanmer Springs to the NOLS New Zealand base. After assessing the most appropriate plan of action, they will continue their course in a timely manner.
NZSF-1: All students and instructors are well, and they will continue their course as planned.
Update 11/13/2016 4:45 PM MST
- NZSF 4: The course contacted NOLS New Zealand. They reported experiencing tremors, rock fall, and a sharp drop in river depth, and moved to safer terrain. Everyone on the course is well. Due to the terrain, we have executed a helicopter extraction of students and instructors on the course to the town of Hanmer Springs. It’s not uncommon to use helicopters for this situation in New Zealand—it’s a mode of transportation we often use to resupply courses—and was the most efficient way to get the students out of the area.
- NZSF 1: The course contacted NOLS New Zealand after experiencing earthquake tremors. They informed us that everyone on the course is well. As of this posting, they will continue their course as planned.
- NZSF 3: The course has not contacted NOLS New Zealand. As it is our protocol that courses call our base should they feel earthquake tremors, and given that this course is outside the area reporting effects from the earthquake, we believe this course is proceeding as planned. The USGS earthquake map of New Zealand (view here) has no reports of tremors in the Rakaia area where the course is. We expect to hear from them at the latest by Nov. 25, when their next resupply takes place.
We have been in touch with families of students as well.
11:40 AM MST
We have been in touch with a staff person in Nelson, New Zealand. She was awakened by the earthquake and described it as a rolling, undulating sensation.
Our protocol is that courses contact our New Zealand campus if they feel an earthquake. As of 11:30 am MST, no courses have contacted NOLS New Zealand. If they contact us, we will be in touch with families and emergency contacts. It is possible that they did not feel the earthquake and will not contact us until their next scheduled resupply. The earthquake’s epicenter in Cheviot town is about 180 miles from where we operate.
The current location of our courses is as follows:
- NZSF 9/15/16 (1): They began their backpacking section on Wednesday, Nov. 2 and are currently in the Fyfe River area. We expect to hear from them at the latest by Nov. 19, when their next resupply takes place.
- NZSF 9/22/16 (3): They began their mountaineering section on Saturday, Nov. 12 at Rakaia, and have had one day of travel to move approximately 1-5 miles north up the lake stream or northwest near the Cameron River. We expect to hear from them at the latest by Nov. 25, when their next resupply takes place.
- NZSF 9/29/16 (4): They began their canoe section on Friday, Oct. 28 on the Clarence River and are likely near Gibson Hut. We expect to hear from them at the latest by Nov. 19, when their next resupply takes place.
*This map shows where NOLS New Zealand courses are likely located.
We will be providing further updates as we receive more information.