At least 75 had been killed and is likely to go up while around 300 remain missing after yesterday's deadly temblor that hit New Zealand's Christchurch city of 400,000 people, said Prime Minister John Key, the Bloomberg reported.
Already named were 55 victims while 20 recovered bodies still await identification as hundreds of rescuers dig for people trapped under the ruined buildings severely damaged by the 6.3 magnitude quake--the country's deadliest in 80 years. In 1931, the earthquake in Napier killed 256.
The Civil Defense Department said official numbers of injuries are not available yet as many people continue to visit emergency centers. More buildings could collapse as more aftershocks could happen.
Rescuer Steve Barclay told Television New Zealand, "There are still noises, so people are still in there. It’s very painstaking work. Just because someone’s tapping doesn’t mean they’re one meter away."
September's 7.1 magnitude temblor hit at 4:35 with no casualties while yesterday's quake happened at 12:51.
According to geonet.org.nz, yesterday's tremor caused more damage than September's because the quake epicenter was just 10 kilometers southeast of the city and was shallower. In the September earthquake, the epicenter was 55 kilometers away of the city and was also deeper.
The airport had reopened early today.
Sydney-based economist Katrina Ell said, that the temblor was capable of "condemning the New Zealand economy to another year of anemic growth due to forces beyond its control."
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