Following a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in New Zealand’s Christchurch at 12.51pm local time, 65 people have reportedly tied. The South Island city has experienced more than two dozen aftershocks. Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said it could quite possibly double.
New Zealand’s second-largest city was fortunate to escape a strong earthquake on 5 September last year without any casualties, though suffering extensive property damage.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has told reporters it was likely the quake would prove to be New Zealand’s “darkest day”.
According to television reports, up to 200 people are still trapped in damaged buildings.
The police have cordoned off the city’s central business district has been cordoned off and have appealed to people to stay away from Madras, St Asaph, Montreal and Kilmore Streets.
There were 180 police on the ground, a further 200 were on the way and 350 military were already in Christchurch with another 250 to arrive soon.
GeoNet has reported 36 earthquakes within 100km radius of the city’s Cathedral Square in the last 24 hours.
There are no reports of Indians in New Zealand being affected yet, but the situation can change. The local emergency contact number is 111. Deputy Prime Minister Bill English has appealed to people to call the emergency numbers only when absolutely necessary.
Google New Zealand have developed a people finder for more information about the victims.