|Prayers for the people of New Zealand requested|
"Make no mistake – this is going to be a very black day for this shaken city," he said when asked about possible deaths.¨ Mayor Bob Parker
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A powerful earthquake hit the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Tuesday, collapsing buildings, burying vehicles under debris and sending rescuers scrambling to help trapped people amid reports of multiple deaths.
Police said they were trying to confirm the early reports of multiple fatalities from the 6.3-magnitude quake, the second major temblor to strike the city since last September, while Prime Minister John Key told Parliament details still were too shaky to confirm deaths.
Witnesses said the quake destroyed the iconic stone Christchurch Cathedral, its spire toppled into a central city square, and there were reports of two buses crushed under falling buildings.
Live video footage showed parts of buildings collapsed into the streets, strewn with bricks and hattered concrete. Sidewalks and roads were cracked and split, and thousands of dazed, screaming and crying residents wandered through the streets as sirens blared.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker declared a state of emergency and ordered people to evacuate the city center. HERE
6.3 quake rocks New Zealand city; fatalities reported
Widespread damage seen in central Christchurch in 2nd big hit in 5 months
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A 6.3-magnitude earthquake Tuesday rocked the southern New Zealand city of Christchurch, collapsing buildings, cracking streets and causing multiple fatalities and serious injuries.
Live video footage showed streets strewn with bricks and shattered concrete. Sidewalks and roads were cracked and split, and hundreds of dazed, screaming and crying residents wandered as sirens blared throughout the city. Bodies were being pulled from rubble. Water mains burst, causing extensive flooding.
The epicenter Tuesday was located in the "worst possible location" for city residents, New Zealand's GeoNet Center data manager Kevin Fenaughty told the New Zealand Herald.¨ HERE
|The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, the Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews Bishop of Christchurch|
"Visitors and staff may be in collapsed cathedral" - Christchurch Dean HERE
· Thanks to The Huffington Post, sidebar
· Thanks to MSNBC
· Thanks to The New Zealand Herald
· Thanks to Twitpic and Wounded Bird/photo
· Thanks to Anglican Communion News Service