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Death toll in New Zealand earthquake at 98

24. February 2011. | 13:53

Source: Tanjug

Death toll in 6.3 Richter earthquake, which hit Christchurch in New Zealand, death toll rose to 98 with grave fears for many of the 226 missing.

Death toll in 6.3 Richter earthquake, which hit Christchurch in New Zealand, death toll rose to 98 with grave fears for many of the 226 missing.

Police said up to 120 bodies may still lie trapped in the debris that was the Canterbury Television (CTV) building, where numerous students from Japan, Thailand, China and other Asian countries were probably buried when an English-language school collapsed along with other offices.

Thousands of buildings were destroyed in Christchurch and surrounding area, among them many old houses in Lyttelton, harbor northeast of Christchurch and closer to the quake’s epicenter, AP reports.

In Christchurch, several hundreds of foreign specialists from the USA, Great Britain, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan arrived to assist local police and the army and allow teams to broaden their search to smaller buildings that were not yet checked.

The water system for Christchurch and surrounding areas was a problem. Mayor of Christchurch Bob Parker said that water was still out for one half other the city and that it might be contaminated for the other half. The residents are urged to consider tap water unsafe, and to boil it before using it to drink, wash or cook because of the risk of disease.

Throughout the city fourteen tankers with water are dispatched, and residents were urged not to flush toilets or use showers, AP reports.

Power was restored to 75 percent of the city, but it could take weeks to repair supplies for the rest of it, including the regions that were hit hardest. School classes in the city are suspended, and residents are advised to at stay home while the rescue mission goes on.

Christchurch was hit by a 7.1 temblor on September 4, damaging buildings but there were no victims. The quake on Tuesday was deadlier because epicenter was closer to the city.

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