Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Massive Earthquake Hits Christ Church New Zealand

This is a picture of the Christ Church Cathedral that I took in October in New Zealand. Compare it to the picture below

This is a picture from New Zealand taken today - 1 PM their time - about 1 AM - our time. We experienced an earthquake while staying in the hotel just to the left of the blue car. Note the cathedral tower down

About an hour ago - I woke up with a shutter. I opened my computer. To my amazement - I read that a massive earthquake just occurred in Christ Church - New Zealand. 63 people are confirmed dead. Ironically - the earthquake recorded 6.3 on the Richter Scale. The epicenter of the quake was 6 miles out of town and 3 miles deep.

When we visited Christ Church - New Zealand - in October - a more gentler earthquake shook us awake there. We were staying in a hotel downtown very near to the Christ Church Cathedral. Note in the picture above the massive damage to that church.

From the NY Times

A powerful earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, during the city’s busy lunchtime rush on Tuesday, flattening office buildings, destroying several homes and killing scores of people, officials and eyewitnesses said.

Prime Minister John Key said that at least 65 people were confirmed dead in the 6.3-magnitude quake. The mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker, declared a state of emergency and ordered the evacuation of the city’s downtown area, The Associated Press reported.

Television footage from the scene by 3 News New Zealand showed emergency crews pulling shaken and injured victims from the stricken buildings, including one four-story structure, the Pine Gould Guinness building, that was partially damaged by the temblor. Emergency crews were working to evacuate people from another building that had caught fire shortly after the quake.

The search and rescue mission was being further complicated by repeated strong aftershocks to the zone, officials said.

“Government agencies and emergency services are still putting together a picture of the damage,” New Zealand’s deputy prime minister, Bill English, told reporters in the capital, Wellington.

Mr. English and the civil defense minister, John Carter, said that Christchurch’s main hospital, which sustained minimal damage, was preparing for multiple casualties. Some victims had already been airlifted to hospitals outside the earthquake zone.

The Christchurch Airport was closed and said on its Web site that it would reopen Wednesday morning only for domestic flights.

Photographs and video from Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-largest city with an urban area of nearly 400,00 residents, showed people running through the streets, massive landslides pouring rocks and debris into suburban streets and extensive damage to the iconic Christchurch Cathedral. One witness called it “the most frightening thing of my entire life.”

Click on "Massive" in the above headline to see my story of when we were hit by earthquake in New Zealand right next to this church

No comments: