6.3 earthquake devastates Christchurch
Dozens are dead and hundreds more are missing after a huge aftershock, of shallow depth and just east of Christchurch, struck at 1pm on a busy Tuesday afternoon.
- 16.44pm: So far, 76 bodies have been recovered after the earthquake, though Canterbury District Commander Superintendent Dave Cliff expects the number will rise.
He said the focus was on finding survivors.
"If we find a body but we can't recover it quickly, we will carry on."
A scheduled reading of the list of the confirmed dead, and missing persons of particular concern, has been delayed.
- Prime Minister John Key says an ``enormous recovery job'' lies ahead and the Government is working on a financial package for those affected by the Christchurch earthquake. Mr Key today reallocated some ministerial portfolios to free up Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee to focus
- We send our condolences to the families, friends & colleagues of the victims of this terrible earthquake. New Zealand in general, and our community in particular, stands shocked and devastated in the worst of times with traumatic stories and tales of loss of loved ones coming through each hour. God Bless New Zealand and New Zealanders ..
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