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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Zealand : Scores Killed in New Zealand Earthquake

From The New York Times :

" Residents of Christchurch braced for a tense night after a powerful earthquake struck New Zealand’s second-largest city during the busy lunchtime rush on Tuesday, killing scores of people, flattening office buildings, destroying homes and leaving large swathes of the city without electricity and running water.

Prime Minister John Key said that at least 65 people were confirmed dead in the 6.3-magnitude quake. “We may be witnessing New Zealand’s darkest day,” Mr. Key told 3 News New Zealand, warning that the death toll could rise significantly.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said a state of emergency had been declared and that he had ordered the evacuation of the city center. Speaking Tuesday night on the Australian television network ABC News, Mr. Parker said the focus overnight would be on rescuing an unknown number of people believed trapped under the rubble. He called the situation “extremely grave."

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