NZ Quake: Death toll rises as recovery continues

PM declares state of emergency as city reels in earthquake aftermath

NEWS, Business

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has declared a state of emergency as the death toll from Monday’s earthquake rises to 76.

The southern city of Christchurch was hit by a quake measuring 6.3 on the Richter Scale, decimating homes, offices, shops and several of the city’s most iconic buildings.

Hundreds remain trapped in the rubble as workers struggle through the twisted wreckage of dozens of buildings to free survivors of the earthquake. Rail links to the city have been compromised, roads have been cut off by landslides, and surrounding communities have also suffered major damage.

Click here for:  PICTURES | NEWS REEL VIDEO | CCTV SUPERMARKET FOOTAGE

“It’s like the whole place has been lifted up and dropped: it’s incredible. I can’t believe this has happened,” one eye witness said.

Police have said there is "incredible carnage right throughout the city", with "bodies littering the streets".

More than 300 people are still missing. Forty-eight were pulled out from collapsed buildings alive overnight.

The search has now been abandoned at one office block, but elsewhere a woman was rescued after more than 24 hours.

"The situation is that we don't believe this site is now survivable," said police area commander Inspector Dave Lowry near the remains of the Canterbury Television building. "It was a hard choice and my heart goes out to all the families."

About 100 people are believed to be inside. Earlier, the head of the fire service denied reports that 15 people trapped inside had been rescued.

The city’s cathedral suffered severe damage when the bell tower broke free and crashed to the ground, while 24 people were rescued from the Pyne Gould Guinness building and dogs have detected another seven still alive. The earthquake flattened the four-storey structure where hundreds worked.

 

Most popular

Awards

CW Oman Awards 2020: Meet the winners
A round of the thirteen winning names at the Construction Week Oman Awards 2020 that

Conferences

Leaders UAE 2020: Building a sustainable, 'resilient' infra
AESG’s Phillipa Grant, Burohappold’s Farah Naz, and Samana's Imran Farooq on a sustainable built environment
CW In Focus | Inside the Leaders in KSA Awards 2019 in Riyadh
Meet the winners in all 10 categories and learn more about Vision 2030 in this

Latest Issue

Construction Week - Issue 767
Sep 01, 2020