New Zealand Earthquake: Fatalities Reported in Christchurch (Video)
[youtube]BfcWraeZvcw&feature=featured[/youtube] New Zealand Earthquake Footage From ChristchurchThe city of Christchurch in New Zealand has been hit by another devastating earthquake with reports surfacing of multiple fatalities and massive damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey said a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck about seven kilometers from the South Island city around 12:50 p.m. local time on Tuesday, Feb 22.
Two buses have been crushed by falling debris, and there are unconfirmed reports that 150 people are being treated in the car park of Christchurch Hospital, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"Multiple fatalities have been reported at several locations in the central city, including two buses crushed by falling buildings. A doctor and emergency services are attending," a police statement said, the Australian Associated Press reported.
A Fire Service spokesperson told Radio New Zealand that people are trapped in buildings around the city, and that fire crews were struggling to contain fires because of interference to water supplies.
National Civil Defence Controller David Coetzee told the national radio station that the damage is worse than the 7.1-magnitude quake, which hit on Sept. 4 last year.
New Zealand television station 3 News showed footage of a collapsed building and a women being rescued. The building has 400 employees, but only 200 were reported to be inside, with the rest having gone to lunch and just about to resume work.
The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) issued an update saying that Christchurch Hospital is now operational with only one ward damaged, and Christchurch Airport is closed, pending an inspection of the runway.