Day 6 - Hopes continue to fade for families of the missing in Christchurch

Liquefaction of Cars in Christchurch Earthquake (3news.co.nz)

This is the 8th 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)

Summary 11:00 UTC:

The death toll has risen to 147. However, the missing total has been reduced to just over 50 - assuming that many of the 200 missing are on the list of bodies.

Cliff told a news conference this afternoon in NZ time that they are spending much time cross-checking the lists and it is an "extraordinarily emotional time" for the DVI  (Disaster Victim Identification) team.

The death toll number had not risen further this evening. Cliff earlier said that the death toll number was expected to pass 200 at some point.

Up to 130 homes have been evacuated in Lyttelton with concerns an entire ridge line could fall away crushing the homes below. Huge boulders are on the ridge line above the homes, and thus 120 homes on the ridgeline have been evacuated as a precaution. Click here for more information. On the evening of 25 February, around 30 people were evacuated from Soleares Ave, in Mt Pleasant also because of risk of rock falls.

Today, has also been a consolidating day for the rescue and relief team in Christchurch. With the news that 40% of the buildings in the city centre are unsafe, the damage bill expected will be huge. Numbers around NZD14 billion are the norm for the money available for the reconstruction but estimates also exceed this. Between $3 billion and $12 billion is the expected insurance payout.

Over 20 nationalities are believed to be among the dead, with hope still being held out for some of the individuals trapped. 1 Malaysian has also been reported among the missing. 70 people have been rescued alive.

Over 1500 people are involved in the rescue operation in Christchurch at the moment, including around 450 international workers, along with smaller numbers from the Red Cross and Civil Defence, members of the police and defence personnel.

All schools and ECE services in Christchurch City will remain closed until further notice.

According to Civil Defence, "Restoration work is progressively providing increased utility services, although the rate of restoration for some services will slow now given the impact of extensive liquefaction and other ground disruption, especially in the southern end east of the city. It is estimated that 100,000 to 150,000 tonnes of liquefaction sand will need to be removed, compared with a total of approximately 20,000 tones in the September event." Please click here for information from Civil Defence as to phone numbers in the affected regions.

We urge people to give generously to the following charity:-

http://www.christchurchearthquakeappeal.govt.nz/

This is a government run earthquake appeal and thus the money will definitely be used in helping the Christchurch victims. Continue to be aware of phony appeals.

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
Quake-maps.com 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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