A 6.3 magnitude earthquake ripped through Christchurch on Tuesday 22nd February at 1 PM leaving many parts of the city which has a population 350,000 in ruins. The city has imposed a curfew in some of the worst stricken areas, with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key declaring a state of emergency.
The earthquake has left an official death toll of 75, with many more expected and at least 300 individuals still unaccounted for. According to the mayor of Christchurch, some 120 people have been rescued since the earthquake struck on Tuesday, and he remains optimistic over the prospects of the 300 still unaccounted.
There have been heartwarming tales of people being saved such as Ms Ann Bodkin, who was pulled from rubble nearly 24 hours after she was trapped in a painstaking rescue effort. Ms. Bodkinwas re-united with her husband just as the sunlight began to stream through the grey darkness that had enveloped Christchurch.
The world and in particular the UK has responded to New Zealand’s hour of need with charity donations, plus rescuers from Britain equipped with cutting edge technology and sniffer dogs joining local rescue teams to sift through the rubble.
The New Zealand Red Cross has so far opened one evacuation centre which has a 2000 person capacity and expects that more temporary accommodation is likely to become necessary. The organisation has started efforts to help people locate missing family and loved ones, through its restoring family links service, having deployed a telecommunications team to Christchurch with the service being operational tomorrow morning.
How You Can Help from the UK
- British Red Cross
- Save the Children
If your charity is running an appeal please comment below and we will add you to the list.