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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Zealand : #CHCH #EQNZ Quake Update 20

Update 20 from The Ministry of Civil Defence, as of 1400hrs, Wednesday 23rd Feb 2011 :

" A magnitude 6.3 earthquake occurred 10km south-east of Christchurch at 12:51, February 22, 2011. Depth (focal depth): 5km. The National Crisis Management Centre has been activated.

As at 1400 23 February, there have been 30 aftershocks with a magnitude between 4 and 6, and many smaller ones.

Considerable damage has been reported in the Christchurch Central Business District and in Lyttelton. There is a cordon around the central business district. Damage assessment is ongoing and over time, will present a better understanding of the extent of damage. Rescue work is likely to take days to complete.

Aftershocks are expected to to continue and this could lead to further building damage or collapse, as well as continued distruption to power, telecommunications and essential services.

A large number of people have been pulled alive from collapsed buildings as rescuers have continued to work throughout the night under floodlights.

Priorities for the response remain the support of the urban search and rescue operation, the treatment and care of injured or affected individuals, and the coordination of national resources in support of the local response.

GNS Science advises that there may be more magnitude 5 or greater aftershocks in the next few days. See:

Resources are being deployed from around the country and from overseas to provide support to the Canterbury response. An 'air bridge' has been established between Christchurch and Wellington.

Damage assessment is ongoing and over time will provide a better understanding of the extent of damage.

See also:


National State of Emergency Declared

The Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key has announced that Cabinet agreed with the decision made under Civil Defence legislation by the Minister of Civil Defence, John Carter, to declare a national state of emergency.

A state of national emergency can be declared when the civil defence response is beyond the resources of the responsible local authority. In this case, there is a need to coordinate the significant amount of assistance and resources that have arrived and are arriving from other regions and from overseas. The declaration of the state of national emergency highlights the seriousness of the situation – more so even than the 4 September 2010 quake.

Damage assessment

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) is assessing information with the assistance of scientific advisors and Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Groups.

• To minimise loading on the telecommunications network, people should use txt messaging to check if friends and family are safe

• There are reports of widespread building collapse (especially in the central city).

• There are 75 fatalities, 55 identities have been confirmed and 20 remain unconfirmed.

• People continue to present at hospitals, triage centres and medical establishments and confirmed numbers of injured are not available at this time."

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