Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Christchurch Smashed By Quake

A 6.3 earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand earlier today, and rocked the city for one solid minute. Buildings collapsed on people across the CBD during lunchtime. Bodies have been recovered from shops, office buildings and at least one hostel. The iconic cathedral in the centre of Christchuch has been destroyed. Aftershocks were still rattling Christchurch more than an hour after the first quake, people still trapped screaming for help inside collapsed buildings as rescuers struggled to reach them.

Powerful raw footage moments after the quake :

Inside the Christchurch cathedral :

ABC News has a round-up of quotes from survivors :

"It was extremely violent. I was sitting there with a friend and the building just like exploded. It was like a movie. It took two or three seconds to comprehend what was going on ... and then we ran onto the street and the front fell out of the building right in front of me."

"It was just scary. [The cathedral], it just came down, like shit, within about two seconds. Unbelievable, unbelievable."

"It was very, very strong, I was up on the top floor of the council building and I got thrown quite a distance. I got down to the street, scenes of great confusion, some very, very upset people, a lot of people crying. I know of people in our building that have been injured." -

"I was in the square right outside the cathedral - the whole front has fallen down and there were people running from there. There were people inside as well."

UPDATE : 4.30pm (Sydney time) : The death toll is likely to be beyond 70 by tomorrow morning, with serious injuries already numbering beyond 300, temporary morgues dealing with bodies that had been lain out in the streets & parks when ambulances were in short supply, water infrastructure trashed, roads shattered, dozens of buildings significantly damaged, many destroyed beyond repair.

How some Australian online media is covering the Christchurch earthquake, with an emphasis on, or overload of, interactivity & multimedia, including live video, maps, before & after photos of buildings where bodies are still to be recovered, plus now mandatory Twitter coverage, Facebook coverage.

The Herald Sun :

The Sydney Morning Herald :

The Daily Telegraph :

And the New Zealand Herald :