238 missing and 78 dead in New Zealand earthquake

Thursday, February 24, 2011

WELLINGTON - Nearly 238 people are reported missing and 78 are dead in Christchurch earthquake.

The 6.3 magnitude quake hit New Zealand’s second largest city on Tuesday and the death toll is likely to rise in the region.

According to police nearly 22 bodies are inside the Christchurch’s Cathedral Square, the stuff.co.nz website reports.

The death toll can rise to as high as 200 after police confirmed that up to 120 people are feared dead at the Canterbury TV building site.

Canterbury district commander Superintendent Dave Cliff said that “number of bodies thought to be in the CTV building ranged from “the high 60s” to 120 and several more bodies were known to be in the Pyne Gould Corporation building, where the operation was now also a recovery one.”

He further said it is important for police to have an accurate list of missing people to focus more on the ongoing research and rescue efforts.e said: “This is very much an operation around rescue. We’re looking for the living.”

Police Minister Judith Collins confronts the horror and described the conditions rescue workers are facing, with bodies being pulled “in ones and twos” from the rubble.

He said: “We’ve got 76 at the morgue at the moment and more coming through. I’ve never seen anything like it.” (ANI)

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