Daylight to bring more information on the 65+ deaths, many injuries and catastrophic damage in Christchurch (part 3)

This is the third part of our extensive reporting which started only a couple of minutes after the earth below Christchurch started to shake. Click here for the overview of the many articles (pictures, videos, stories on this earthquake)

Hot-line number for people overseas calling about missing friends and family is +64 7 850 2199. Do not hesitate to use it if necessary.

UPDATE 19:54 UTC : 200 people have been said to be injured through being admitted to the Christchurch Hospital emergency department. A few of these have died. Many other people have slight injuries in addition to these 200.

UPDATE 19:14 UTC : 2 SkyNews videos. They can also be seen in the special page with our video selection from this earthquake. Click here to go directly to this page.

UPDATE 19:01 UTC : City officials said that 120 people have been pulled out of the debris.

UPDATE 18:59 UTC : Read the press releases of the city of Christchurch in this special earthquake website

UPDATE 18:51 UTC : 2 people have been killed by falling rocks.

UPDATE 18:49 UTC : The first of the Australian search and rescue teams has touched down in Christchurch.

UPDATE 18:48 UTC : The army is patrolling the streets of Christchurch and police are being brought in from all over the South Island and Auckland.
Inspector Russell Gibson says there have been no arrests for issues such as looting.

UPDATE 18:47 UTC : Labour leader Phil Goff has described the scene as like the London blitz. He said the people crushed in two buses will add to the fatality toll.

UPDATE 18:46 UTC : The United States is deploying a Disaster Assistance Response Team with an USAR crew. The team will bring more than 70 specialized personnel and equipment to aid rescue. Australia has sent 148 USAR staff.

UPDATE 18:18 UTC : Police has told the press that everyone attempting to enter the inner city cordon will be arrested.

UPDATE 18:16 UTC : Their will be NO public transport today in Christchurch.

UPDATE 18:14 UTC : If residents need emergency assistance and accommodation overnight, they should go to Burnside High School.  A secondary welfare center is also at Hagley Park North. Welfare centers have been busy overnight. Blankets, food, sanitation are supplied at the centers. Blankets have been provided by Warehouse and Food Distribution Centers have made food available to the welfare centers. Civil Defense will attempt to open more centers throughout the day.

UPDATE 18:10 UTC : A woman with a baby in her arms died instantly when she was hit by falling debris. A passerby went to her assistance in Cashel St Mall, but she was dead when he arrived. It is not known how badly hurt the baby was.

UPDATE 18:08 UTC : The sun has just risen at the horizon. Daylight will make rescue efforts considerably easier or less difficult.

UPDATE 18:04 UTC : 38 bodies have been counted in the city morgue

UPDATE 18:00 UTC : All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen feels helpless watching the disaster in his home town from the other side of the world. He says his family is okay and his sister gave birth to a baby boy just half an hour after the quake.

UPDATE 17:58 UTC : Bob Parker, the mayor of Christchurch, urges residents, even those wanting to help, to stay at home. Roadways are lifelines - keep them clear, he says.

UPDATE 17:57 UTC : The reason that we are bringing this tsunami of news-facts is that authorities are giving press conferences in the early New Zealand morning.

UPDATE 17:55 UTC : The waste water system is completely trashed.

Twitpic picture telling it all in one image

UPDATE 17:53 UTC : 22 people, including two with serious injuries, have been rescued to date from the PGG building on Cambridge Terrace.
A further 22 people were believed to be still trapped.

UPDATE 17:51 UTC : Police say they are aware of a number of dead bodies in the PGG building on Cambridge Terrace and the CTV building on Madras and Cashel Streets.

UPDATE 17:49 UTC : Christchurch Airport will be open for domestic flights starting from this morning 8 AM (local time)

UPDATE 17:47 UTC : There has been communication with some people trapped in buildings and it is understood some are not hurt.

UPDATE 17:46 UTC : Civil Defense is giving visitors to Christchurch the opportunity to relocate to Wellington to free up accommodation in Christchurch and reunite people with family.

UPDATE 17:45 UTC : The shaking goes on. Most of the aftershocks are in the magnitude 4 range.

UPDATE 17:43 UTC : the next three days the city is closed for business and schools. Schools will be used as water distribution sites.

UPDATE 17:36 UTC : In response to the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck the South Island of New Zealand earlier today, the New Zealand Red Cross has activated its national emergency operations center at its national office in Wellington. The Red Cross teams are working with Civil Defense, New Zealand Police, the local councils and agencies to assess the needs and determine how the Red Cross can best assist.
One evacuation center has been opened for approximately 2,000 people.
The New Zealand Red Cross has provided First Aid assistance and has distributed blankets to the displaced families.
It has started nationally restoring family linking activities, and a telecommunications team is being deployed to Christchurch and will be operational tomorrow morning.
The Australian Red Cross will provide some bilateral assistance based on the existing agreements with the New Zealand Red Cross.

As of now, the New Zealand Red Cross has not asked for international assistance, and the American Red Cross has not made plans to fundraise or communicate specifically for this disaster. By tomorrow morning, the New Zealand Red Cross will provide more information on whether international assistance will be needed. Updates will be provided if the role of the American Red Cross changes in this tragedy.

UPDATE 17:30 UTC : Police has identified 32 fatalities at this moment. The number of 65 reported by authorities earlier is not following the Police standards, who are only counting a victim when he was identified.

UPDATE 16:49 UTC : Glacier watchers on the Tasman Lake had an experience of a lifetime yesterday. Two guides and 16 passengers were on two boats on the lake when the 6.3 magnitude Canterbury earthquake hit, triggering tsunamis and causing a massive ice calving off the glacier. (Excerpt from an article of

UPDATE 16:40 UTC : Eight people have been rescued from the CTV building on Madras and Cashel Streets.

UPDATE 16:30 UTC : People have been pulled alive from collapsed buildings as rescuers have continued to work throughout the night under floodlights.

UPDATE 15:57 UTC : Finance Minister Bill English said financial assistance would be available for those with homes devastated by the quake, and even people who claimed through  the EQC on the September 4 quake will be able to claim for damages once again.

UPDATE 15:55 UTC : NO water supply for 80% of properties in Christchurch.

UPDATE 15:54 UTC : A little sport : The local rugby team - the Canterbury Crusaders, hope that they will not have to move away from the AMI stadium for their Super 15 clash.

UPDATE 15:52 UTC : According to Christchurch City Council, people with minor injuries should do their own home remedies. People with moderate injuries should go to Princess Margaret, St Georges or Southern Cross

UPDATE 15:27 UTC : Christchurch Airport is only open for emergency flights. All other traffic is forbidden.

UPDATE 15:15 UTC : Seismologists are reporting that the City Center of Christchurch was approx. 10 km from the epicenter.
The fault zone was about 15 sq. km.
First indications show that the movement of the 2 sides of the faulting zone will be approx. 1 meter relative to each other !
Although last year's earthquake was approx. 10 times as powerful than the present quake, the main difference is the distance from the epicenter to the city and the shallow depth.
Last year's earthquake waves had weakened a lot when they arrived at Christchurch making minimal damage for such a magnitude earthquake.
Seismologists are almost certain that the present quake was activated by the same fault zone than last years and can be called an aftershock.

Wikipedia picture of the February 22 2011 Christchurch earthquake

UPDATE 14:39 UTC : Aftershocks are still going on and will be continue to strike the coming hours and days. They tend to go down a little bit but some major shocks exceeding magnitude 5 can still occur and can be extremely dangerous for instable buildings and rescue workers.
Click here to view our LIVE SEISMOGRAPH page.

UPDATE 14:37 UTC : Rescue workers are sure that people are still alive under the rubble because they have contact with a lot of them by exchanged SMS text messages.

UPDATE 14:11 UTC : We see more and more people landing on our pages as the traditional international press is easing his attention because of the New Zealand night.

UPDATE 14:08 UTC : Christchurch mayer told the press that all efforts are going now to the Search and Rescue operation. Everything else is of lesser importance. Saving as much as lives as possible is what counts in these dark hours.

UPDATE 14:06 UTC : Temperature in New Zealand is 20°C and rain is in the air.

UPDATE 13:59 UTC : We hate to tell it,  but the death toll is expected to rise. At least 100 people, maybe more, are still missing. Authorities are only releasing data if they are for 100% sure. Instead of starting of a game in rumors, they are right to keep the initial death toll for a while. A news report is expected in the early New Zealand morning hours (within a few hours).

UPDATE 13:49 UTC : New Zealand will not sleep a lot tonight. People from all over the country are living the tragedy as a lot of them have relatives in the earthquake struck area.

Last updates of our second article

UPDATE 13:16 UTC : Orion CEO Roger Sutton says it could be a few days before the whole of Christchurch gets its power back on

UPDATE 12:33 UTC : 120 people have been rescued out of the rubble.
Approx. 100 still missing.
Official fatalities number still on 65.

UPDATE 12:15 UTC : 10 victims have been transferred to Auckland as Christchurch Hospital intensive care unit makes space for an expected number of seriously injured people arriving in the coming days.

Police urged people to:
¢ Stay out of the central city
¢ Stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to travel
¢ Check the welfare of your neighbours - especially the elderly
¢ Conserve water
¢ People with urgent medical needs are advised to go to the 24-hour surgery on Bealey Avenue.

UPDATE 12:00 UTC : Just repeating that the shaking in the city was much greater for this earthquake than the magnitude 7.1 earthquake from last September, or any of the aftershocks.

According to Geonet in New Zealand, the highest shaking was recorded at Pages Road Pumping Station at a value of 1.88*g, (this means 1.88 times the acceleration due to gravity, which you can imagine feels like being thrown with twice your weight across a room). There were also readings of 1.27*g at Heathcote Valley Primary School and 1.07*g at Hulverstone Road Pumping Station. If ever you do not understand a word we are saying, there is an extensive glossary here.

UPDATE 11:52 UTC : Australia doubles rescue team : Attorney-General Robert McClelland said today a total of 148 Australian Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) specialists are now being sent to Christchurch at the New Zealand government's request.

The first 40 from NSW, left from the RAAF base at Richmond, in Sydney's northwest, about 10am UTC today aboard a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft along with rescue equipment and supplies.

34 more specialists from NSW will leave from Richmond overnight, and the 74 Queensland specialists are due to leave from RAAF Amberley, southwest of Brisbane, aboard a C-17 Globemaster aircraft tomorrow.

UPDATE 11:47 UTC : No new news from Christchurch. Civil Defence and other sources have no new reports.

UPDATE 11:22 UTC : Unfortunately more aftershocks are continuing during the night, with a M4.4 earthquake recorded at a depth of 5km, just minutes ago.

UPDATE 11:20 UTC : From earlier, reasons why the damage and casualties are higher in this earthquake as opposed to the Sep 4 earthquake:-

1) Ground shaking higher (shallower hypocenter) and closer to higher population.

2) Midday earthquake where many workers and shoppers were in the city center with many verandahs and other masonry failed and hit large numbers of people. Many people were getting lunch at the time.

3) Office buildings were most affected, and being the middle of the day many workers were in these buildings.

4) Structures previously weakened by the mainshock (M7.1), were now affected greatly by this aftershock (M6.3).

Initial information

Very strong Magnitude 6.3 earthquake (aftershock) in New Zealand South Island
Following USGS the epicenter (extremely shallow) is right under Christchurch (5 km)

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 6.3
UTC time : Monday, February 21, 2011 at 23:51:42 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 12:51:42 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 4 km satellite map + I Did Feel It form

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place

USGS Shaking map
USGS historic earthquakes map
USGS impact on population map
USGS Seismic hazard map

LIVE SEISMOGRAM (nearest Seismograph station)

GDACS Green Earthquake Alert (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System)

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