New Zealand Earthquake Toll at 113 Dead, Over 200 Missing: It is one of New Zealand’s darkest moments as hundreds of troops, police and emergency workers raced against time and aftershocks that threatened to collapse more buildings. Teams have rushed in from Australia, Asia, the U.S. and Britain, along with a military field hospital to aid Christchurch, a city of about 350,000. Rescuers fanned out into unchecked areas of the quake-devastated city, looking for any signs of life in the rubble, with “grave fears” that many of the more than 200 missing are dead.
The news was especially grim at the Canterbury Television Building, a 7-story concrete and glass structure that housed New Zealand’s national television network and other businesses, including the King’s English-language school used by young visitors from Japan and South Korea where 90 students and staff are trapped. Police say up to 120 bodies may still lie trapped in the tangled concrete and steel building that was the Canterbury Television (CTV) Building. Twenty-three bodies were pulled from the building Thursday, but not yet identified. Police also say they are giving up hope for occupants trapped in the Pyne Gould Corporation Building as well.
About 120 people have been rescued so far around Christchurch, while many more bodies were recovered. More than 200 people are still unaccounted for. Among the dead were two infant boys, one 9 months old and the other 5 months old.
The city’s water system is in disarray, and tankers are being brought in to provide safe, clean water. Residents have been warned not to use the water or to flush their toilets. Electricity has been restored to about 70% of the city.
The true toll in life and treasure was still unknown, but the earthquake already was shaping up to be one of the country’s worse disasters.
Prime Minister John Key has declared the area a natural disaster, which analysts estimate could cost up to $12 billion in losses.
New Zealand’s worst earthquake struck in 1931 and killed at least 256people.
Massive Iceberg Shears Off After New Zealand Quake: A 30-million ton block of ice sheared off of a New Zealand glacier just minutes after a violent earthquake devastated the city of Christchurch. The huge iceberg crashed into a lake shortly after the 6.3 magnitude tremor rocked the South Island on Tuesday and created waves up to 3 metres high for 30 minutes.
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