Heartbreaking texts from the rubble

A bus damaged by the earthquake in Colombo St believed to have fatalities on board.
1 of 45STACY SQUIRES
A bus damaged by the earthquake in Colombo St believed to have fatalities on board.
A digger is brought into the CTV site.
2 of 45IAN STEWARD
A digger is brought into the CTV site.
Tourists living in temporary tented accomodation in Hagley Park.
3 of 45STACY SQUIRES/The Press
Tourists living in temporary tented accomodation in Hagley Park.
Police Superintendent Dave Cliff at a Media briefing, outside the Christchurch Art Gallery.
4 of 45ROBYN EDIE/Southland Times
Police Superintendent Dave Cliff at a Media briefing, outside the Christchurch Art Gallery.
An injured earthquake victim is flown to Wellington Hospital.
5 of 45ROSS GIBLIN/Dominion Post
An injured earthquake victim is flown to Wellington Hospital.
The Christchurch Cathedral.
6 of 45CHRIS SKELTON/Dominion Post
The Christchurch Cathedral.
The toppled statue of a Canterbury founding father William Rolleston, a superintendent of Canterbury.
7 of 45MARTIN DE RUYTER/Nelson Mail
The toppled statue of a Canterbury founding father William Rolleston, a superintendent of Canterbury.
Searach and Rescue volunteers listen to a briefing before heading off to their search assignments
8 of 45MARTIN DE RUYTER/Nelson Mail
Searach and Rescue volunteers listen to a briefing before heading off to their search assignments
A flight from Christchurch arrives at Hamilton Airport.
9 of 45DONNA WALSH/Waikato Times
A flight from Christchurch arrives at Hamilton Airport.
Kent Manning, left, and his sister Lizzy, 18, with their father - they have been told there is no hope of finding their mother alive.
10 of 45AP
Kent Manning, left, and his sister Lizzy, 18, with their father - they have been told there is no hope of finding their mother alive.
Kent Manning, 15, and Lizzy Manning, 18, wait for news of their mother, trapped in the CTV building.
11 of 45AP
Kent Manning, 15, and Lizzy Manning, 18, wait for news of their mother, trapped in the CTV building.
A cyclist on Fitzgerald Avenue.
12 of 45JOHN BISSET/Timaru Herald
A cyclist on Fitzgerald Avenue.
Damaged cars on Manchester St.
13 of 45BLAIR ENSOR/Malborough Express
Damaged cars on Manchester St.
The Harper House of Christ's College.
14 of 45Craig Dickie
The Harper House of Christ's College.
The damaged Time Ball Tower in Lyttelton.
15 of 45Getty
The damaged Time Ball Tower in Lyttelton.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker talks to the media outside the Christchuch Art Gallery.
16 of 45Getty
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker talks to the media outside the Christchuch Art Gallery.
A car sinking in the Palm Mall carpark.
17 of 45Nathan Adams
A car sinking in the Palm Mall carpark.
Cracks at the Merivale Mall carpark.
18 of 45Nathan Adams
Cracks at the Merivale Mall carpark.
The damaged Christchurch CBD.
19 of 45DON SCOTT/The Press
The damaged Christchurch CBD.
Liquefaction in Christchurch.
20 of 45Simon White
Liquefaction in Christchurch.
Buildings in Lyttelton destroyed by the quake.
21 of 45CHRIS SKELTON/Dominion Post
Buildings in Lyttelton destroyed by the quake.
A tanker truck stuck on the road out to Lyttelton.
22 of 45CHRIS SKELTON/Dominion Post
A tanker truck stuck on the road out to Lyttelton.
The damaged Christchurch CBD.
23 of 45DON SCOTT/The Press
The damaged Christchurch CBD.
Fire appliances from around Canterbury waiting for action outside the central fire station.
24 of 45DON SCOTT/The Press
Fire appliances from around Canterbury waiting for action outside the central fire station.
Ann Bodkin and her rescuer being lowered on a Fire ladder truck from the wreckage of the Pyne Gould building.
25 of 45ROBYN EDIE/Southland Times
Ann Bodkin and her rescuer being lowered on a Fire ladder truck from the wreckage of the Pyne Gould building.
A very happy Graham Richardson after search and rescue pull out his wife Ann Bodkin alive from the Pyne Gould Guiness building.
26 of 45CHRIS SKELTON/Dominion Post
A very happy Graham Richardson after search and rescue pull out his wife Ann Bodkin alive from the Pyne Gould Guiness building.
Search and rescue pull out Ann Bodkin alive from the Pyne Gould Guiness building.
27 of 45CHRIS SKELTON/Dominion Post
Search and rescue pull out Ann Bodkin alive from the Pyne Gould Guiness building.
Damaged roads in Christchurch.
28 of 45Asher Trafford
Damaged roads in Christchurch.
Left, St Lukes Church on Kilmore St, and right, the Pyne Gold Building.
29 of 45Asher Trafford
Left, St Lukes Church on Kilmore St, and right, the Pyne Gold Building.
The bridge near Victoria Street.
30 of 45Asher Trafford
The bridge near Victoria Street.
The Provincial Chambers, damaged by the quake.
31 of 45Asher Trafford
The Provincial Chambers, damaged by the quake.
The damaged Lincoln Road Bikeshop.
32 of 45Asher Trafford
The damaged Lincoln Road Bikeshop.
Dust on the streets of Christchurch.
33 of 45Fairfax
Dust on the streets of Christchurch.
An aerial view of water damage.
34 of 45NZ Defence Force
An aerial view of water damage.
The Cathedral, with The Press building at the left.
35 of 45CRAYS MONTEATH/The Press
The Cathedral, with The Press building at the left.
The Hotel Grand Chancellor building in downtown Christchurch may collapse with reports the building is visibly slumping.
36 of 45Don Scott
The Hotel Grand Chancellor building in downtown Christchurch may collapse with reports the building is visibly slumping.
Buildings have collapsed in Lyttelton.
37 of 45Cecilia Romo
Buildings have collapsed in Lyttelton.
The Empire hotel in Lyttelton.
38 of 45Cecilia Romo
The Empire hotel in Lyttelton.
Damage from the quake in Lyttelton.
39 of 45Cecilia Romo
Damage from the quake in Lyttelton.
Damage from the quake in Lyttelton.
40 of 45Cecilia Romo
Damage from the quake in Lyttelton.
Damage from the quake in Lyttelton.
41 of 45Cecilia Romo
Damage from the quake in Lyttelton.
Damage from the quake in Lyttelton.
42 of 45Cecilia Romo
Damage from the quake in Lyttelton.
Damage from the quake in Lyttelton.
43 of 45Cecilia Romo
Damage from the quake in Lyttelton.
Damage from the quake in Lyttleton.
44 of 45Cecilia Romo
Damage from the quake in Lyttleton.
Police and rescue staff celebrate after pulling someone from the PGC building.
45 of 45Marlborough Express
Police and rescue staff celebrate after pulling someone from the PGC building.

The first text message said: "Mommy, I got buried." About 40 minutes later: "Mommy, I can't move my right hand." Then, a brief call from New Zealand's earthquake rubble to parents in the Philippines pleading to send help.

After another harrowing hour in a crumpled building, when she sent a half-dozen more texts about increasing pain, continued shaking and overwhelming smoke, came the final one: "Please make it quick."

That was the last the Amantillo family heard from 23-year-old student Louise Amantillo, who is among dozens of foreigners missing after their language school disintegrated in Tuesday's collapse of the prominent CTV building in Christchurch.

"Her voice was shaking, like she was really scared. I know she was in pain," said her mother, Linda Amantillo, who was desperately hoping that her daughter was still alive three days later.

Officials have said they are virtually certain no one was still surviving in the ruins of the CTV building, and that up to 120 bodies are entombed there.

The King's Education language school catered to students from Japan, China, the Philippines, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Korea. The building's collapse in the 6.3-magnitude quake has pulled an international group of anguished relatives into an agonizing vigil awaiting conclusive word on the victims.

Many of the relatives arrived Friday at the Christchurch airport, including about 20 from Japan who were whisked onto a bus by embassy officials. Police later held a meeting with school officials and parents at a community center for a briefing on rescue and recovery efforts.

"There will be families receiving the worst kind of news in the next few days," Foreign Minister Murray McCully said Friday. "This is not just New Zealand's tragedy, it's a tragedy that will touch many families around the world."

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker sought to reassure foreign relatives that everything possible was being done.

"We think that your children are our children - there is no difference," he said. "We are taking full responsibility to do everything we can to assist those families ... and in the rescue operation."

The Amantillos are a medical family, from Iloilo province in the central Philippines where they speak the Ilonggo dialect.

Linda Amantillo is a nurse and her husband, Alexander, is a doctor. Their daughter followed suit and studied to become a nurse. She set her sights on working abroad and went to New Zealand to immerse herself in English.

"The nurses here don't have jobs, and she wanted to strive," Alexander Amantillo said.

The family has a sister-in-law who works in New Zealand, and she has gone around to check hospitals in Christchurch, but there has been no sign of Louise, he said Friday. The family also plans to send a son and niece to Christchurch to monitor the search.

It has been a painful three days for the Amantillos since that first text came across in the Ilonggo dialect: "Ma, naambakan ako," or "Mommy, I got buried," as dictated by Linda Amantillo in telephone interviews on Thursday.

"We told her, 'You can make it, you can make it. Be strong and pray,"' Alexander Amantillo said.

But Louise's texts, sent every five to seven minutes, were getting increasingly desperate. "I have not yet been rescued. It's painful already," she wrote at 2.45 p.m. Then, "There is no rescue in my area." Two minutes later: "The smoke is overwhelming."

At 3.32 p.m. the family received Louise's last message, giving her location - corner of Madras Street and Chassel Street - and ending it with the final plea, "Please make it quick."

Overwhelmed by worry, Linda Amantillo tried to call her daughter. But all she heard was a recorded response asking the caller to leave a message.

A man rescued from rubble in Cashel Mall. If you know this man, please contact our newsroom at news@dompost.co.nz
1 of 46IAIN McGREGOR/The Press
A man rescued from rubble in Cashel Mall. If you know this man, please contact our newsroom at news@dompost.co.nz
A marquee in Hagley Park, originally set-up for the Ellerslie Flower Show, now being used as temporary accommodation.
2 of 46ROBYN EDIE/Southland Times
A marquee in Hagley Park, originally set-up for the Ellerslie Flower Show, now being used as temporary accommodation.
A Christchurch tram covered in debris.
3 of 46Getty Images
A Christchurch tram covered in debris.
Firefighters and office workers try and extinguish a blaze and rescue trapped people at the CTV building on Madras Street.
4 of 46CARYS MONTEATH/The Press
Firefighters and office workers try and extinguish a blaze and rescue trapped people at the CTV building on Madras Street.
A damaged church on the corner of Manchester Street.
5 of 46CARYS MONTEATH/The Press
A damaged church on the corner of Manchester Street.
The Press Building (foreground) and the Christ Church Cathedral at rear.
6 of 46DON SCOTT/The Press
The Press Building (foreground) and the Christ Church Cathedral at rear.
Patients and staff outside the emergency department at the Christchurch Hospital.
7 of 46CARYS MONTEATH/The Press
Patients and staff outside the emergency department at the Christchurch Hospital.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker speaks to media at the Civil defense centre at the Christchurch Arts Gallery.
8 of 46CARYS MONTEATH/The Press
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker speaks to media at the Civil defense centre at the Christchurch Arts Gallery.
Destroyed shops on Manchester St in the Christchurch CBD.
9 of 46CARYS MONTEATH/The Press
Destroyed shops on Manchester St in the Christchurch CBD.
Firefighters in action in central Christchurch.
10 of 46JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/The Press
Firefighters in action in central Christchurch.
An injured man receives assistance.
11 of 46JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/The Press
An injured man receives assistance.
Rubble of a building following the second Christchurch earthquake.
12 of 46CHARLIE GATES
Rubble of a building following the second Christchurch earthquake.
Earthquake damage to the PGG-Wrightson building.
13 of 46JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/The Press
Earthquake damage to the PGG-Wrightson building.
Water damage in on the corner of Pages Rd and ANZAC Dr.
14 of 46DON SCOTT/The Press
Water damage in on the corner of Pages Rd and ANZAC Dr.
Army troops arrive in Lyttelton.
15 of 46KIRK HARGREAVES/ The Press
Army troops arrive in Lyttelton.
Cliff damage behind Redcliffs school damaging homes.
16 of 46DON SCOTT/The Press
Cliff damage behind Redcliffs school damaging homes.
Flooding in Ferrymead.
17 of 46KIRK HARGREAVES/ The Press
Flooding in Ferrymead.
Cars on the sewage ponds roundabout because they cant get over bridge street bridge (at left) due to damage.
18 of 46DON SCOTT/The Press
Cars on the sewage ponds roundabout because they cant get over bridge street bridge (at left) due to damage.
Earthquake damage inside The Press building.
19 of 46JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/The Press
Earthquake damage inside The Press building.
Brougham street packed as people try to get away and around the city.
20 of 46DON SCOTT/The Press
Brougham street packed as people try to get away and around the city.
Men celebrate being rescued from the totalled PGG-Wrightson building.
21 of 46JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/The Press
Men celebrate being rescued from the totalled PGG-Wrightson building.
Rockfall on Dyers Pass Road.
22 of 46JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/The Press
Rockfall on Dyers Pass Road.
The PGG-Wrightson building on Manchester St.
23 of 46IAIN MCGREGOR/The Press
The PGG-Wrightson building on Manchester St.
A man lies injured near Cashel Mall.
24 of 46IAIN MCGREGOR/The Press
A man lies injured near Cashel Mall.
An injured man near Cashel Mall in central Christchurch.
25 of 46IAIN MCGREGOR/The Press
An injured man near Cashel Mall in central Christchurch.
Christ's College.
26 of 46DON SCOTT/The Press
Christ's College.
The PGG building across the road from the Band Rotunder on the Avon River.
27 of 46DON SCOTT/The Press
The PGG building across the road from the Band Rotunder on the Avon River.
Oxford Terrace Baptist Church with the 911 memorial to NY fire fighters lost in the terrorist attack at left on the bank of the Avon.
28 of 46DON SCOTT/The Press
Oxford Terrace Baptist Church with the 911 memorial to NY fire fighters lost in the terrorist attack at left on the bank of the Avon.
An injured man uses his phone.
29 of 46IAIN MCGREGOR/The Press
An injured man uses his phone.
A smashed car is seen in a car parking building.
30 of 46Getty Images
A smashed car is seen in a car parking building.
Crushed cars are seen in a car parking building.
31 of 46Getty Images
Crushed cars are seen in a car parking building.
Collapsed buildings in Manchester Street.
32 of 46Getty Images
Collapsed buildings in Manchester Street.
Collapsed buildings and debris are seen along Manchester Street.
33 of 46Getty Images
Collapsed buildings and debris are seen along Manchester Street.
Rescue workers search for survivors through debris.
34 of 46Getty Images
Rescue workers search for survivors through debris.
Rescuers stop to listen for sounds from survivors in a collapsed building in Manchester Street.
35 of 46Getty Images
Rescuers stop to listen for sounds from survivors in a collapsed building in Manchester Street.
Rescue workers search for survivors through debris.
36 of 46Getty Images
Rescue workers search for survivors through debris.
A woman is removed from the wreckage.
37 of 46IAIN MCGREGOR/The Press
A woman is removed from the wreckage.
An injured women is comforted near Cashel Mall in central Christchurch.
38 of 46IAIN MCGREGOR/The Press
An injured women is comforted near Cashel Mall in central Christchurch.
A bus covered in building debris.
39 of 46Getty Images
A bus covered in building debris.
Flooding near Ferrymead.
40 of 46SHERIDAN SUBRITZKY
Flooding near Ferrymead.
The Baptist Church on Madras St.
41 of 46IAN MCGREGOR/The Press
The Baptist Church on Madras St.
Flooding near Ferrymead.
42 of 46SHERIDAN SUBRITZKY
Flooding near Ferrymead.
A man waiting to be rescued from Forsyth Bar building.
43 of 46IAIN MCGREGOR/The Press
A man waiting to be rescued from Forsyth Bar building.
Earthquake damage at  Cashel Mall in central Christchurch.
44 of 46IAIN MCGREGOR/The Press
Earthquake damage at Cashel Mall in central Christchurch.
Earthquake damage in central Christchurch.
45 of 46IAIN MCGREGOR/The Press
Earthquake damage in central Christchurch.
The back of the collapsed PGG building.
46 of 46RICHARD COSGROVE/The Press
The back of the collapsed PGG building.
TEXTS FROM THE RUBBLE: Louise Amantillo sent texts to her family in the Philippines pleading to send help.
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TEXTS FROM THE RUBBLE: Louise Amantillo sent texts to her family in the Philippines pleading to send help.

AP