Christchurch 2011 earthquake “ day 4 “ 700 Search and Rescue personnel fighting for hope (part 6)

This is the 6th 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)
We are thinking of and also congratulate all the people who are active in the relief efforts. The well organized search and rescue, shelter and all kind of relief efforts is an example for what should happen in other earthquake relief and recovery management around the world.
Much work will be needed in the coming days, weeks and months, with building assessments, recovery, relief and rehabilitation, both socially, environmentally and economically. We urge as many people to get involved and to please give generously to local NZ charities and to the major official charities, as this money will go a long way to rebuilding the city of Christchurch.
Once, again on behalf of us at and SOS Earthquakes, congratulations for your efforts

Wikipedia picture from Martin Luff -

UPDATE 16:06 UTC : Teams are doing house assessments. If they have a concern they call in a structural engineer. The engineers make a decision about whether the house requires a red sticker. Red stickers = not safe to live in!

UPDATE 15:54 UTC : An Air Force Hercules C130 from Christchurch landed at Auckland's Whenuapai airport just before midnight with approximately 20 patients on board. Six patients were taken out on stretchers and there were seven ambulances standing by to receive them.
St John Ambulance said the patients were mostly elderly.
"They have been displaced due to their own facility in Christchurch now being unstable... we will transport them to facilities in and around the Auckland area," said Acting Duty Operations Manager Greg Scott. (source : TVNZ)

UPDATE 13:10 UTC : The eastern suburbs have significantly more liquefaction than was evident in the 4 September earthquake. In September approximately 30,000 tonnes of sand was removed. Approximately 100,000 to 150,000 tonnes of sand will need to be removed following the 22 February event.

UPDATE 13:08 UTC : Just over 80% of power has been restored to Christchurch

UPDATE 13:07 UTC : 323 more Australian Police arrived this afternoon and are being sworn in as New Zealand Police Officers immediately

UPDATE 13:05 UTC : Police have met with affected family members this afternoon and they were given information by disaster victim identification experts and the coroner

UPDATE 12:49 UTC : UK Insurance company "Brit" has reported a 30% drop in 2010 profit because of earthquake claims from Chile and Canterbury's September 4 quake. The global insurer has not yet factored in costs from this quake.

UPDATE 12:47 UTC : A lot of New Zealand people living and visiting United Kingdom did pay their respect via Facebook.

UPDATE 12:39 UTC :
Heartbreaking texts from the rubble -  Louise Amantillo sent texts to her family in the Philippines pleading to send help. The first text message said: "Mommy, I got buried." About 40 minutes later: "Mommy, I can't move my right hand." Then, a brief call from New Zealand's earthquake rubble to parents in the Philippines pleading to send help. (excerpt of a article)

UPDATE 08:38 UTC : The official death toll stands at 113. Since early afternoon on Tuesday, February 22, there have been 70 people rescued alive.

UPDATE 08:33 UTC : Another great map gives the location and topographic elements of the vast Christchurch area (even a big part of the South Island).
Global Map Around Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand

UPDATE 08:23 UTC : The International Red Cross has made a map of the greater Christchurch earthquake area. It  shows very well the location of the underground explosion relative to the center of Christchurch. Click here for this map

UPDATE 08:12 UTC : All Christchurch earthquake cash donations over $5 by individuals through approved donee organizations can gain a tax credit, and will be tax deductible when made by companies.

UPDATE 08:10 UTC : Statistics Minister Maurice Williamson and Government Statistician Geoff Bascand today announced the 8 March 2011 Census will not be held.

UPDATE 08:09 UTC : 125 aged care clients have been transported out of Christchurch with a further 200 needing to be transferred. CDHB is currently assessing needs and a plan is expected this morning (as at 0830hrs 25 February).

UPDATE 08:08 UTC : The Cowles Stadium Welfare Centre was closed this afternoon. A total of 170 people stayed at the centre last night. Sixty of those were relocated to Rangiora this afternoon. The remaining 110 were able to find accommodation independently.


The death toll has risen to113 confirmed fatalities. This figure is expected to rise and could approach the death toll of the Hawke's Bay earthquake (256).

There have been 70 people rescued alive.

There are more than 200 people reported missing (unaccounted for). This number will include some, or all, of the fatalities, according to Civil Defence.

594 patients have been admitted to Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department since the earthquake, including 164 with serious injuries. There have been over 2000 people with slight injuries. 125 aged care clients have been transported out of Christchurch with a further 200 needing to be transferred.

Toilets are on the way! 750 portaloos are already in Christchurch with another 1000 about to be sent by the USA.

The Christchurch CBD and Lyttelton have copped most of the damage with a number of collapsed or seriously damaged buildings. Civil Defence continues to warn that aftershocks could lead to further building damage or collapse. A 4.4 magnitude aftershock struck at 5.40pm, 10km south of Christchurch. It had a focal depth of 6km. In fact, the aftershocks have caused fatalities at the Christchurch Cathedral after the M6.3 earthquake, so it is important to stay vigilant. Damage assessment is ongoing.

Power, telecommunications and essential services continue to be disrupted and are not working at full capacity, however, restoration work is progressively providing increased utility services.

The Jerusalem Post is also reporting that an Israeli citizen is among the dead from the quake. Police released two more names of victims:-

Jeff Pelesa Sanft, aged 32, of Christchurch.
Andrew Christian Ross Craig, aged 46, of Christchurch

Our thoughts go out to their family and friends.

Again, the total damage estimate out of CATDAT ranges USD10-20 billion, with around USD15 billion as the average estimate. Other estimates have come through from JP Morgan of around $12 billion, and from the NZ government saying that it will definitely exceed NZD10 billion. Around 250000 insurance claims will most likely be filed.

UPDATE 00:30 UTC : 107 confirmed fatalities. There are 228 people reported missing

UPDATE 23:58 UTC : Power, telecommunications and essential services continue to be disrupted. Restoration work is progressively providing increased utility services.

UPDATE 23:53 UTC : As at 08:30 25 February, approximately 1141 persons have been moved out of Christchurch to Wellington or Auckland by the established air bridge

UPDATE 23:53 UTC : To minimize loading on the telecommunications network, people should use txt messaging to check if friends and family are safe

UPDATE 23:50 UTC : 594 patients have been admitted to Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department since the earthquake, including 164 with serious injuries

UPDATE 21:32 UTC : Red Cross staff will be going door-to-door today to check on people in the suburbs

UPDATE 21:30 UTC : Seismologists say the quake is behaving as it should and aftershocks will decrease over time. This behavior can also be seen at our aftershocks page.

UPDATE 21:26 UTC : There is little chance of finding survivors at the flattened Pyne Gould Corporation building, where bodies were pulled from the rubble overnight.

UPDATE 21:19 UTC : Rescue workers will today begin the grim task of removing bodies from the ChristChurch Cathedral as hopes of finding any more earthquake survivors fade. Up to 22 people are believed to have been buried in the rubble of the cathedral after the spire toppled in Tuesday's 6.3 magnitude quake.

UPDATE 19:45 UTC : Twenty-five family members of Japanese students fly to Christchurch. The relatives who flew to New Zealand comprised 18 family members of nine students who are still missing, as well as seven members of five students who have been rescued or found safe. Visibly impatient, the father of a 19-year-old student who is still missing said, "I'm absolutely sick with worry. I haven't heard anything from Christchurch, and my daughter doesn't answer her phone when I call her. I want to go and rescue her as soon as I can."
The mother of another female student who suffered broken bones said, "I want to see my daughter quickly so I can reassure her."

UPDATE 19:26 UTC : Two British and two Irish people are confirmed to have died.

UPDATE 19:23 UTC : Prime Minister John Key says he cannot rule out imposing a nationwide tax to help rebuild Christchurch

UPDATE 18:18 UTC : Quake toll rises to 103, Prime Minister John Key saying he believes it may rise to over 200

UPDATE 16:00 UTC : 20 Chinese students are among those thought to be trapped in the quake rubble.

UPDATE 15:58 UTC : POWER has been restored to 75 % of the Christchurch homes and 40% have WATER again. There is again enough FUEL to supply everyone.

UPDATE 15:56 UTC : Official missing people hotline: 0800 RED CROSS, 0800 733 276. Overseas: +64 7 850 219

UPDATE 15:52 UTC : Water will be available from the schools/parks at the following times tomorrow (Friday 25 February 2011 - Click here to see the list).
Residents must take their own containers, and remember to boil all water before use.

UPDATE 15:35 UTC :
The death toll from the Christchurch Earthquake is now 102 and this figure is still expected to rise.
The list of people who are unaccounted for, and where there is significant concern that they are in the CBD, remains around 200. It is likely that a large number of those who have died will be on that list but that cross-matching can only be carried out once there have been formal identifications.
Earthquake-Report predicts that the final death toll will be less than 300.

UPDATE 15:33 UTC : An American Urban Search and Rescue Team has now arrived in New Zealand to join teams from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and China. A team from the UK is also en route and once they arrive there will be nearly 700 USAR teams and civil defense volunteers working on the rescue operation.

UPDATE 15:30 UTC : Residents of Christchurch are being encouraged to be cautious and vigilant as a trend of people impersonating officials starts to emerge.
Police have received reports of individuals posing as EQC staff members going door-to-door asking questions about electronic equipment inside the houses, and people in high visibility vests on properties who disappear quickly when they realise they have been seen.There have also been reports of at least two people of Australian nationality presenting themselves to the fire service as both Urban Search and Rescue and Disaster Victim Identification staff. Enquiries showed these people are not credited to either role.
Any officials working in Christchurch should be carrying official identification and will not be offended if they are asked to show their ID. Later today 100 structural assessment teams will be going door-to-door in various suburbs and all will be carrying official ID.

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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