February 22nd, 2011
07:30 PM ET

New Zealand city in ruins after quake kills 75

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Rescue teams in New Zealand continued to search for survivors Thursday after a powerful earthquake rocked downtown Christchurch, killing scores of people, toppling buildings and leaving others trapped beneath piles of concrete.

At least 75 people have died, 55 of whom have been identified, according to Prime Minister John Key. Hundreds are still missing, Key told reporters at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Key also told reporters that he will urge the nation's parliament to declare a state of emergency for all of New Zealand.

The 6.3-magnitude quake struck Christchurch during the lunchtime rush Tuesday. Frantic rescuers scrambled to reach those trapped beneath the rubble hours. Dazed, bleeding residents wandered through streets strewn with debris and piles of concrete.

The quake toppled buildings onto buses, buckled streets, forced the collapse of a cathedral spire and cut power for most of the city.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Greg H.

    I find it amazing that an entire city of over 400,000 people is nearly leveled to the ground in New Zealand, and on AC360 they devoted what – probably about 10 minutes to it? And showed the same stock video clip over and over that CNN has been showing all day long?

    I realize there's a lot going on in the Middle East now among other stories, but earlier today I watched CNN to try to find out about the disaster in NZ – watched for an hour and not one mention of it. Finally "360" discusses it as though it were a bad thunderstorm. Wow.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    The footage of the quake is horrifying. I have a good friend just outside of Christchurch in Redwood. With power down, etc., I have not been able to reach her to be sure she is ok. I hope she is ok and that in Christchurch they dig out a lot more survivors. How awful to be trapped under the wreckage, in the dark, not knowing if anyone will find you in time or if the building will collapse more on you.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  3. Daisy

    omg!!!! my aunts on vacation there! :*(

    February 22, 2011 at 9:22 pm |