The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck North Canterbury in the early morning of Monday 14 November has caused some dramatic changes to our landscapes.
Huge landslides have fallen into some of our North Canterbury rivers such as the Clarence, where a large landslide dam backed up a large volume of water before breaching several hours later. The extent of earthquake damage to the Clarence and other rivers in the region is not yet clear, and with decreased land stability in some areas, rainy weather, and potential for large aftershocks, it is possible that further changes to rivers may yet occur.
Please take utmost care when you’re out paddling over the next few weeks as rapids and other river features may have changed unexpectedly. This may mean taking things slower on your own peer group paddling trips, or scouting out rivers you think may have changed before taking less skilled groups of paddlers down.
Whitewater NZ would also love to hear from you if you’ve seen any changes in rivers on your paddling trips (or if you’ve run a river and can confirm it’s not been affected by the earthquakes). If you have anything to share drop us a line at [email protected] and we can help share information on current paddling conditions with our community.