New Zealand extends National State of Emergency over Christchurch quake

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WELLINGTON - New Zealand has extended its National State of Emergency, which it had declared after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake had hit Christchurch last month.

Civil Defence Minister John Carter said that the National State of Emergency was likely to remain for several more weeks.

“This declaration ensures coordination and cooperation between central and local resources, and international assistance. Due to the scale of this disaster, the civil defence response is beyond the resources of the local authority,” quoted him, as saying.

Carter also said that the significant damage and continued aftershocks were behind the extension.

According to police, the death toll from the quake is likely to be around 240.

Earlier, it was reported that the devastating earthquake had destroyed a huge number of buildings, and other infrastructure in the city.

Insisting that the earthquake had brought “death and destruction on a dreadful scale”, Prime Minister John Key had said that a national emergency would possibly allow greatest coordination of local, national, and international resources to work on rescue and recovery efforts.

Key had also said that the damage done by the quake would have a significant economic impact on Christchurch and New Zealand.

The city had experienced a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on September 4, 2010. The latest quake had reportedly happened at a shallow depth of five to six kilometres below the ground. (ANI)

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