Digital News Report – Hundreds may still be trapped below the rubble in Christchurch New Zealand. The 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit the South Island of New Zealand at 12:51 pm local time Tuesday. The February 22nd earthquake may be remembered as one of the worst or the worst disaster in the nation’s history.
It is not certain whether this earthquake is an aftershock of the Sept 4 2010 quake that hit the Canterbury region of the island. Whether an aftershock or not, this quake caused more damage because it was shallower and closer to the metropolitan area of Christchurch.
New Zealand Prime Minster, John Key, says this may be “New Zealand’s darkest day”. He said that 65 are confirmed dead but others say the death-toll could reach two to four hundred.
The Mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker, says 200 people could still be trapped. Residents are being asked to conserve water. The defense forces have been called to assist residents in the area.
Power has been disrupted and buildings and roads have been destroyed. Eye-witnesses said that buildings near Cathedral Square in downtown have collapsed. There is also a report that the Catholic Church has collapsed.
Workers are believed to be trapped in the Pyne Gould Corporation building on Cambridge Terrace.
The spire of the Christchurch Cathedral has completely collapsed. The hospital and airport were both been evacuated. The hospital has reopened to treat the injured.
The airport is opened for emergency traffic only. The United States has offered assistance and Australia is sending a rescue team to the scene.
By Mark Williams
Above Image: USGS Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green