Two minutes' silence for quake victims - PM

18:52, Feb 26 2011
Constable David Filmer and Christine Carter
HELPING HANDS: Constable David Filmer gets some tension relief from Christine Carter. Carter has been giving stress relief therapy to police and rescue workings coming back from their duties at the end of a long day.
David Hallfrey
Dave Hallfrey from ENZEND Canterbury has been giving away free sausages and bread, just to help out.
David Hallfrey and Emma Gray
Dave Hallfrey (from ENZED Canterbury) and Emma Gray (from Divine Cake company), have been giving away free food near the Palms Mall.
Nelson Redcross Response
The Nelson Redcross Response team, Hugh Leckie, Isabelle Lotscher, Cheynne Leslie, David van der Peet, Debbie Preest, Steve King, Lee Bradley and Tasman area manager Fraser Benson prepare to head out to the suburbs of Christchurch this morning.
Richmond
A cyclist rides through a silt and water logged street in the suburb of Richmond.
Richmond
A disorientated cat drinks from ground water in a gutter in the suburb of Richmond.
Thomas Healey
Thomas Healey carries a full gas bottle tied to his back, back to a relief centre in New Brighton.
New Brighton
Residents in New Brighton collect water from a tanker that came through their street early in the day.
Lyttelton
A crane clears debris in Lyttelton.
Latimar Square
Inside the area for the rescue workers at Latimer Square.
Hambledon Bed and Breakfast
Members of the Smith family watch as their historic house is demolished in Christchurch. The 1850s-era Hambledon Bed and Breakfast was left uninhabitable after the September quake.
John Key
Prime Minister John Key visited the tent city at Latimer Square and got a hug from one of the English rescue workers.
Gerry Brownlee and John Key greet rescue workers
Prime Minister John Keyand Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee greet rescue workers on a visit to the tent city in Latimer Square, Christchurch.
Gerry Brownlee and John Key greet rescue workers
Prime Minister John Keyand Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee greet rescue workers on a visit to the tent city in Latimer Square, Christchurch.
John Key
Prime Minister John Key visits the tent city at Latimer Square.
John Key
Prime Minister John Key visits the tent city at Latimer Square.
Bryony, Brent and Shannon Smith
Brent Smith with his daughters Bryony and Shannon at the site of their Christchurch house which had to be destroyed after it was severly damaged by both quakes.
Hambledon Bed and Breakfast
Brent Smith has had his house destroyed after it was severly damaged after both quakes.
Latimer Square
A rescue worker in tent city at Latimer Square.
Noy Godfrey
Shirley resident Noy Godfrey doesn't know where to start as she cleans the sand from the front of her home.
Christchurch
Dust fills the streets of Christchurch as the sand left over from liquefaction starts to dry out.
Paul Stratford
Shirley resident Paul Stratford has a laugh as he tries to clear the sand away from his daughter's rocking horse in his Riselaw street backyard.
Paul Stratford
Shirley resident Paul Stratford cleans the sand away from his daughter's toy Batmobile.
Todd Roydon
Palmers street resident Todd Roydon next to his house which has been condemed.
Christchurch
Resident around Christchurch begin the painful task of cleaning up in the suburbs after the devastating 6.3 earthquake earlier in the week.
John Key
Prime Minister John Key prior to the start of a media conference.
Christchurch
A Chinese recovery team works with members of New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue to carry a body from the Canterbury TV site.
Chris Crishom helps clean up the streets of Christchurch.
Chris Crishom helps clean up the streets of Christchurch.
Ross Whelan and daughter Madelyne Whelan stand beside the remains of their local shops in Christchurch.
Ross Whelan and daughter Madelyne Whelan stand beside the remains of their local shops in Christchurch.
 John Key, Gerry Brownlee and Bob Parker
Prime Minister John Key, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker outside Latimer Square.
Police patrol on push bikes
Police patrol the city centre on push bikes.
Martine Ribotton is comforted as her place of work is demolished
Lyttelton Lounge worker Martine Ribotton is comforted as the cafe where she worked is demolished.
A Southern Demolition worker retrieves a chair from the Lyttelton Lounge.
A Southern Demolition worker retrieves a chair from the condemned Lyttelton Lounge at the request of the owner. He did not know his cafe was being demolished.
An expert screens the rubble at the destroyed CTV site in Madras St.
An expert screens the rubble at the destroyed CTV site in Madras St.
Helen Clark comforts Murray Shaw.
Helen Clark comforts Murray Shaw, the deputy chair of New Zealand On Air, outside the Civil Defence headquaters in Christchurch today.
Christchurch Catholic Bascilica.
The Christchurch Bascilica lies in ruins.
Children ride past piles of liquefaction.
Children ride their bikes past huge piles of liquefaction along Roxburgh street in Beckenham. Farmers spent the morning clearing the silt and making the road passable.
Student volunteer army members Lynda Wright and Liz Williams.
Student volunteer army members help to clean up an Avonside Drive property. At front, from left, are Lynda Wright and Liz Williams.
USAR team walks passed the Christchurch Art Centre.
A USAR team walks passed the Christchurch Art Centre.
Inspector Mike Coulter looks after Police Communications in the Christchurch Central Police station.
Inspector Mike Coulter looks after Police Communications in the Christchurch Central Police station.
Linda Harrison (left at the table) continues working as the Governer General Anand Satyanand talks John Hamilton behind.
Linda Harrison (left at the table) continues working as the Governer General Anand Satyanand talks to Civil Defence chief John Hamilton behind.
Te Awhina Marae in Motueka has opened its doors to earthquake refugees from Canterbury. Motueka's Aroha Pimley, left, and Liam Patu help fold sheets.
Te Awhina Marae in Motueka has opened its doors to earthquake refugees from Canterbury. Motueka's Aroha Pimley, left, and Liam Patu help fold sheets.
Nelson police inspectors Iain McKenzie left, and Ross Lienert on the corner of Bealey Ave and Victoria Street at the edge on the cordon area, before starting their night shift on Sunday.
Nelson police inspectors Iain McKenzie left, and Ross Lienert on the corner of Bealey Ave and Victoria Street at the edge on the cordon area, before starting their night shift on Sunday.
A passerby walks past the destroyed Pharmacy building on the corner of Bealey Ave and Colombo Street.
A passerby walks past the destroyed Pharmacy building on the corner of Bealey Ave and Colombo Street.

Prime Minister John Key has asked all New Zealanders to observe two minutes' silence from 12.51pm on Tuesday, exactly one week after Christchurch's deadly earthquake, to honour quake victims.

The death toll following Canterbury's magnitude 6.3 quake is 145 and police say that number will rise.

More than 200 people are listed as missing.

Canterbury police chief Dave Cliff yesterday said the toll increased from 123 after 22 more bodies were found.

"We expect that number to rise as the search and rescue teams progressively find more and more deceased," he told a press conference.

Mr Cliff said he was aware families were concerned about how long it was taking to identity victims, but the disaster victim identification team was going as fast as it possibly could.

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Police held two meetings with families yesterday -- one with overseas families and one with locals.

"We have tied up each of the families with a liaison officer, one of our police officers, so when there is specific information about the identity of a loved one and that person is in our possession, we will be doing everything humanly possible to get that loved one back to their family as soon as we can," he said.

"We will move heaven and earth to do that, but the biggest concern we have is returning the wrong loved one to the wrong family, and that is a risk we just don't even want to think about."

Police were working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to get information from consular officials that would help identify foreign nationals.

Mr Key has said Tuesday's earthquake may be New Zealand's single most tragic event in its history.

"I am calling on all New Zealanders to stop and remember those who have lost their lives, those who are missing, and the hundreds of people who are mourning family and friends," he said.

"At 12.51pm this Tuesday, the 1st of March, I am asking that New Zealand stops for two minutes as a sign of unity for the people of Canterbury who are enduring a tragedy beyond what most of us can imagine.

"Canterbury will recover and we will do all we can to ensure it does.

"For now, we must do all we can to show its people that all of New Zealand grieves with them."

Meanwhile, police have urged people to stay off Christchurch roads, so that essential services are not held up.

They also say the risk of bricks and windows falling from windows in the central city remains high and people should stay away from the CBD.

Civil Defence director John Hamilton has said the scale of the response to the emergency has been huge, with a fantastic response, under trying conditions, from many people.

NZPA