It is now the morning of the fourth day of the February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake Disaster. It is New Zealand’s worst natural disaster in 80 years.
The September 4, 2010 earthquake of five months ago was bigger but it killed nobody. That was 7.1 on the Richter scale but it was further away from Christchurch and 30 miles underground.
The 6.3 magnitude earthquake, which hit New Zealand on Tuesday, February 22, 2011, four days ago, was much closer to the city – and it was only three miles below the surface.
The death toll of this week’s disaster is now 103 dead and more than 200 missing. The toll will rise as more bodies are recovered, but rescuers are still hoping to rescue more people alive.
Rescue teams have been working through the night through drizzling rain and concentrating on seven sites around the city, but it is now two days since anyone has been found alive.
Today they will widen their search to take in alleyways between buildings, looking for anyone who may have been trapped or buried in rubble there. Until now, rescuers have not had the manpower to check between damaged buildings. There may also be people trapped in basements below some of the collapsed buildings.
The disaster zone has been cordoned off by police and 200 NZ defence force personnel, complete with army trucks and armored personnel carriers.
Power has now been restored to 70 percent of the city, and the water supply has been
Local emergency services have been boosted by the arrival of hundreds of specialist rescuers from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan and Taiwan.
Australia sent teams from New South Wales, Â Queensland are theÂ Northern Territory. And more than 200 police officers have been sent to Christchurch from Victoria and NSW to take the pressure off the local police.
The added manpower from overseas rescuers means the search for survivors can spread further across the Canterbury area of Christchurch, where most of the destroyed buildings are located.
That was the situation report (sitrep) at dawn this morning on the fourth day of the earthquake disaster in Christchurch, New Zealand.
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