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Videos / Earth Sciences / 2011 New Zealand Earthquake







2011 New Zealand Earthquake



2011 New Zealand Earthquake
The 2011 Canterbury earthquake was a 6.3 magnitude earthquake which struck New Zealand's South Island at 12:51 pm on 22 February 2011. The quake caused widespread damage and multiple fatalities, largely in the town of Christchurch.


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Posted by nova on February 22, 2011
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Comments

Posted by nova on February 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm
By Adrian Bathgate

CHRISTCHURCH | Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:59pm EST

(Reuters) - New Zealand rescuers sifted through rubble with bare hands on Wednesday, guided by sounds of crying and tapping as they looked for up to 100 people feared trapped in collapsed buildings after a quake shook Christchurch, killing at least 65 people.

Rescue teams had to perform amputations to free some of the 120 survivors so far pulled from the wreckage of Tuesday's strong tremor, which had hit the country's second-biggest city at lunchtime. The death toll is expected to rise.

"We are getting texts (sms messages) and tapping sounds from the living and that's our focus at the moment," police shift commander Russell Gibson said on Radio New Zealand.

Authorities said they had formally identified 39 dead, but said more bodies had yet to be identified or retrieved.

"There are bodies littering the streets. They're trapped in cars, crushed under rubble, and where they are clearly deceased our focus unfortunately at this time has turned to the living," Gibson said.

"I know that the figure of 65 has been mentioned. I know it will be significantly higher than that."

Tuesday's 6.3 magnitude quake struck -- the second to hit the historic tourist town in five months -- struck when streets and shops thronged with people and offices were still occupied. It was New Zealand's most deadly natural disaster for 80 years.

On Wednesday, as dawn broke over the ruins of central Christchurch, roads were buckled, buildings toppled and large polls of water had welled up from broken water pipes and sewers.

In places, roads had collapsed into a milky, sand-colored lake beneath the surface, the result of Christchurch's sandy foundations mixing with subterranean water under the force of the quake. Officials call it "liquefaction" of the ground.

Rescuers worked through the night under lights, in rain, with the greatest efforts focused on two collapsed buildings: a financial-services office block whose four stories pancaked on top of each other, and a TV building which also housed an English-language school.

About a dozen Japanese students at the school were believed to be missing, an official in Japan told Reuters, while public broadcaster NHK said several other students from another group in the building were also unaccounted for.

SIX SHELTERING TOGETHER

Eight people had been pulled from the smoldering TV building and a group of six was known to be sheltering together.

A young man, whose fiancee was trapped in the building, had stood vigil through the night.

"They're working by hand, moving the debris by hand...they've been bringing people out alive, and some dead as well," the man who declined to be named told Reuters.

A further 22 people were known to be trapped in the finance building with at least three making contact. Some of those trapped are unhurt, awaiting rescue.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker described the city, also popular with overseas students, as a war zone.

A local state of emergency has been declared and the central city was cordoned off and being patrolled by soldiers with armored personnel carriers.

"There are people alive and still trapped in that rubble, no matter how hopeless the site might appear ... we have people alive and are going to get them out," Parker said, adding that it was estimated that another 100 people were trapped.

It is the country's worst natural disaster since a 1931 quake in the North Island city of Napier which killed 256. Christchurch Hospital saw an influx of injured residents, with broken limbs, crush injuries and lacerations.

"Some had to have their limbs amputated to get them out, and others have had amputation from the injury itself," said Mike Ardagh, head of Christchurch hospital's emergency department.

"Some have sadly died...of those who had a chance, some haven't been able to make it."

Christchurch, known as the Garden City, has been described as a little piece of England. It has an iconic cathedral, now largely destroyed, and a river called the Avon. It boasts several English-language schools and is a springboard for tours of the scenic South Island.

EMERGENCY SHELTERS

Thousands of people spent the night in emergency shelters set up in local schools and at a race course. Fresh water supplies were being distributed from schools and portable toilets set up around the city as services were disrupted.

The city has been shaken by more than 50 aftershocks since the initial magnitude 6.3 shake, bringing down more debris.

There have been offers of help from the United States and Japan, with the first of 148 search and rescue specialists from neighboring Australia, including sniffer dogs, arriving.

New Zealand police have asked Australia to send up to 300 officers to assist in security.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth offered her sympathy for the former British colony and said in a statement she was "utterly shocked" by news of the quake.

The quake struck at lunchtime, sending shop awnings and building facades crashing into streets filled with office workers and shoppers -- in contrast to last year's even stronger tremor, which struck at night when streets were virtually empty.

New Zealand sits between the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates and records on average more than 14,000 earthquakes a year, of which about 20 would normally top magnitude 5.0.

(Additional reporting by Yoko Kubota in Singapore; Writing by Gyles Beckford; Editing by Sugita Katyal)
Posted by pdpete on February 22, 2011 at 9:50 pm
Good video,but it is very disturbing to watch this kind of destruction happening to these poor people not only in New Zea land but anywhere that it happens.
Posted by Tibor on February 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm
This quake closely resembles the Long Beach quake back in 1933. Long Beach had a 6.4, where New Zealand had a 6.3; Both had shallow quakes, less than 10Km below the surface. The death toll for Long beach was 120, New Zealand last toll was 65 and that figure is expected to rise.
Posted by soccergod78 on February 25, 2011 at 6:55 am
It is heartbreaking to watch unfold! My heart goes out to those whom are affected. We will always have events like these to study to further our understanding of where when and of course how these Natural disasters occur. Perhaps in the future we will be able to save more lives with early warning systems. or potentially stop them from happening alltogether.
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