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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Zealand : Prison cleared for quake rescuers

Another article from NZ Herald :

" Christchurch's Rolleston prison is being cleared to create beds for the influx of rescuers into the city following yesterday's 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

Corrections Minister Judith Collins said the prisoners would be moved to the higher security Christchurch Mens' prison, emptying 320 beds for rescuers. The rescue teams now include 200 police from Australia on top of their specialist search and rescue team.

In a further bid to make room in the city the Air Force was today ferrying tourists and out-of-towners from Christchurch to Wellington and Auckland to clear hotel rooms and other accommodation for rescuers.

The rescue teams were being flown to Christchurch on the return leg. Hundreds of people were expected to use the flights today.

Civil Defence National Controller David Coetzee said as well as rescue teams, council workers including building inspectors and sewage workers were now being drafted to Christchurch to help assess buildings and restore basic services.

75 dead

Rescuers have recovered and identified 55 bodies and are yet to identify a further 20 bodies from yesterday's earthquake in Christchurch."

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