The death toll from the Christchurch earthquake is likely to be about 240, police say. If the death toll did reach 240, the Christchurch earthquake would be New Zealand’s third worst death toll from a disaster. The 1979 Mt Erebus air crashed left 257 dead on November 28, 1979, while the 1931 Napier earthquake killed 256 and levelled much of the city’s centre.
Fire Service told the conference said he had toured the Pyne Gould Corporation building last night and that Urban Search and Rescue (Usar) workers at the site believed they would find more victims. A key wall in the Christchurch Cathedral, where up to 22 bodies still lay, would be shored up soon to allow better access for the Usar teams.
Civil Defence operation told media 66 per cent of the city had water. There were 67 tankers in areas which did not have water and desalination plants were being organised, but it would be “some weeks” before water was fully restored to the city. Without water, there was no sewerage and the aim was to get one chemical toilet into every house without a toilet after the earthquake. Civil Defence said all water in Christchurch would be chlorinated in an effort to combat contamination from broken sewers and waste water pipes. The treatment is likely to continue for months while the city’s infrastructure is restored.
Aftershocks are continuing to shake Christchurch with the latest a 4.3 magnitude earthquake at 9.10am. GNS Science reported the earthquake was centred 10km east of Lyttelton at a depth of 2km. GNS Science seismologist John Ristau said this morning’s large and shallow aftershock could have pushed earthquake damaged buildings to breaking point. The Geonet website has already received reports of damage and slight damage in its wake. The number of large aftershocks in Christchurch was trending downward. A magnitude 5 or more quake was still possible in the next few days. Residents took to Twitter to report this morning’s aftershock, saying it shifted furniture, rocked cars from side to side and made roads seem like they were swaying.
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