A page dedicated to today’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake in Christchurch has been set-up on Wikipedia.com. It is called 2010 Canterbury Earthquake:
Most of the damage was concentrated on the area surrounding the epicentre and the nearby city of Christchurch, though there was report of minor damage from as far away as Dunedin, 350 kilometres to the south.
Effects in Christchurch
Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest urban area with a population of 386,000, was the largest urban area close to the earthquake, at 30 km from the epicentre at Darfield.
Sewerage systems were extensively damaged, with spills of sewage in some streets. Additionally, gas and water lines were broken, and power to some sections of the city was disrupted.
Christchurch Hospital experienced a power cut, requiring the use of emergency generators. Patients were asked to attend their general practitioner for minor injuries.
Rail networks across the South Island, with the exception of Dunedin, were closed for inspection. Some of the rail lines in Christchurch were badly damaged.
Christchurch International Airport was closed following the earthquake and flights in and out of it cancelled. It reopened at 1:30 pm following inspection of the main runway.
An evacuation of New Brighton in Christchurch and areas of the Christchurch CBD are being considered by Police and Civil Defence.
The site, still in its infancy, gives details of the effects of the quake:
Effects outside Christchurch
The quake’s epicentre was around Darfield, around 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Christchurch.
In many towns outside Christchurch there has been significant liquefacation and selective loss of water supplies. The state of sewage systems outside of Christchurch has yet to be determined.
The quake caused damage to historic buildings in Lyttelton, near Christchurch, including cracks in a church and the destruction of parts of a hotel. Business in the town was closed the day after the quake.
Cost of damages has been estimated going up as far as $2 billion (NZD)
At about 11:45 a.m., a Royal New Zealand Air Force Hercules C-130 transport plane with 20 search and rescue personnel onboard departed Whenupai air base bound for Christchurch to assist in search and rescue operations. There are a large number of police and engineers present in the disaster areas. The New Zealand Army is on standby in the region if assisstance is necessary.
TV One interrupted their daily schedule to bring special all day One News coverage of the earthquake. Radio New Zealand National interrupted their Saturday morning programming to bring a special edition of their morning news programme Morning Report, which normally only airs on weekdays. This was followed up with a Midday Report half-hour special. The earthquake made headlines in the Sydney Morning Herald, BBC, the Guardian, CNN, FOX News and MSNBC.
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