With around 200 people still missing, the death toll in the New Zealand earthquake has now reached 146. It has been a very difficult time for all the families of the victims as they wait for the recovery and release of the bodies beneath the rubble. Everybody has high hopes that there are still alive people inside the crumpled buildings.
The 6.3-magnitude quake last February 22, 2011 had brought devastation to Christchurch. About one third of the buildings in the central city have to be demolished making the area an off-limits zone for months. Engineers have also been conducting assessments of homes to check the extent of damage and whether the occupants need to be evacuated to safer accommodation.
About 700 people are involve in the search and rescue operations. Countries like U.S., China and Japan also sent some of their well-trained rescue teams to assist in the operations. A total of 300 Australian police have been patrolling the quake zone area targeting looters and maintaining the peace and order.
The city of Christchurch will never look the same after the rebuilt. The historic buildings may not be salvageable. Authorities have to decide whether the existing buildings have to be rebuilt or just be strengthened. For sure, they have to consider the safety of people.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key asked for a two- minute silence this coming Tuesday in remembrance and honour of the victims.
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