Catastrophic Earthquake in Christchurch – Death Toll Expected to Rise

The aftershock of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch in September 2010 has torn New Zealand’s second-biggest city to shreds. At midday on Tuesday 22nd February 2011, a 6.3 magnitude tremor tore down buildings, homes and livelihoods, taking the lives of many innocent people. Seventy-five people have now been confirmed dead, and 300 are still missing.

UK Prime Minister, David Cameron has pledged a request for support from British services in this difficult time. A search and rescue team have already been deployed from UK shores to assist with the attempt to save the lives of those still trapped inside buildings.

Reports have suggested that a number of people killed in the tragedy include office workers, young women and babies. Residents of Christchurch have reported seeing bodies laying in the streets, in cars and stuck under rubble. However rescue teams have commented that they are focusing on the lives they believe they can still save.

Luckily, advancements in technology have saved the lives of a number of people, after families and friends were alerted to the whereabouts of their loved ones through text, email and phone calls.

It is believed that there are currently six main rescue attempts going on in different buildings known to be containing survivors, one of which being the iconic Christchurch Cathedral.

Crisis teams are now working non-stop to evacuate people from the areas still at risk of danger, and are providing food and shelter to those that need it. New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key is urging those that don’t need to leave their homes to stay where they are, and to check their neighbours are all safe.

It is inevitable that the death toll will rise to well above one hundred, but our hope and faith should be with the rescue teams now, in their attempt to save as many from the rubble as possible.

Story by External Writer, Amy Hallam.