Christchurch earthquake: Latest news - Wednesday

09:50, Mar 02 2011
CARRYING ON: Omar Yusaf spent last Tuesday saving  others while fearing for his 13-year-old daughter's life.  ``I just had to keep doing what I was doing and trust that her teachers had managed to get her out of the building and  to a place of safety. I found that absolutely terrifying.''
CARRYING ON: Omar Yusaf spent last Tuesday saving others while fearing for his 13-year-old daughter's life. "I just had to keep doing what I was doing and trust that her teachers had managed to get her out of the building and to a place of safety. I found that absolutely terrifying.''
WORKING THROUGH THE PAIN: Sarah Cook ran to her 11-year-old son's school in bare feet then spent the night pulling bodies from the CTV building. The next morning she had to have glass removed from her feet by a doctor.
WORKING THROUGH THE PAIN: Sarah Cook ran to her 11-year-old son's school in bare feet then spent the night pulling bodies from the CTV building. The next morning she had to have glass removed from her feet by a doctor.
WORST TIME: Laurie Welsh admits the past week has taken its toll. "I've been in the job 23 years, mate, and I've seen some gruesome stuff but nothing like this.''
WORST TIME: Laurie Welsh admits the past week has taken its toll. "I've been in the job 23 years, mate, and I've seen some gruesome stuff but nothing like this.''
SUPER DAD: Michael Yeates' three-year-old daughter knows what he does. "She was watching it on TV and goes, 'Daddy's in there, eh. Daddy's helping people.' That's pretty cool.''
SUPER DAD: Michael Yeates' three-year-old daughter knows what he does. "She was watching it on TV and goes, 'Daddy's in there, eh. Daddy's helping people.' That's pretty cool.''

8.37pm: A third of Christchurch households remain disconnected from the city's water supply following last week's earthquake.

Water had been restored to 67 percent of households and tankers were delivering water to areas without supply.

People were reminded to boil all water before drinking, including tanker water, de-salinated water and normal tap water.

If people were unable to boil they were advised to add 1 teaspoon of bleach for every 10 litres of water and leave for 30 minutes before drinking.

Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) advised people to stay away from all beaches between the Waimakariri River and Lyttelton Harbour, which were contaminated with sewage.

"Testing has confirmed that water at some Christchurch beaches is contaminated at levels that could make people very ill from contact," said medical officer of health Ramon Pink.

It was "extremely important" for people to follow this advice due to the risk of gastroenteritis outbreaks, Dr Pink said.

7.26pm: Deteriorating weather conditions have hampered the Christchurch earthquake rescue mission.

A wind storm which struck the city today meant dust and debris was being whipped around the city, Superintendent Dave Cliff said.

"A lot of dust, debris, and in some cases corrugated iron, [is] blowing around the central city.

"So there's a real hazard in there."

Thousands of people have resorted to using free masks handed out to deal with the dust, which health officials could be dangerous to people with asthma and respiratory illness.

5.52pm: Strong winds are threatening to topple the historic Lyttelton Timeball Station.

Jaime Gilbert
FATHER: Jaime Gilbert with his daughter India Rose Gilbert.
pohio
Joe Pohio
Christchurch earthquake victim Jaime Gilbert's funeral
SYMPATHY: Amy Cooney embraces friends before the funeral for her brother Jaime Gilbert, who died in the Christchurch earthquake.
Christchurch earthquake victim Jaime Gilbert's funeral
SAD FAREWELL: The funeral of quake victim Jaime Gilbert. Jaime's partner Natalie O'Brien left, holding son Levi and sister Amy Cooney embrace during the service.
Christchurch earthquake victim Jaime Gilbert's funeral
LAST ACT: Pallbearers carry quake victim Jaime Gilbert's casket, including his sister Amy Cooney, right.
Christchurch earthquake victim Joe Pohio's funeral
'A HERO': Arnold and Joy Pohio at the funeral of their son Joseph, who was killed by falling debris after coming to the aid of a woman following the earthquake.
Christchurch earthquake victim Joe Pohio's funeral
NEVER LOST A FRIEND: Arnold and Joy Pohio at the funeral of their son Joseph, who they described as a popular man, who "never lost a friend, only gathered more".
Natasha Sarah Hadfield
Natasha Sarah Hadfield passed away during the February 22nd Christchurch earthquake.
Natasha Sarah Hadfield
The funeral of Natasha Sarah Hadfield held at Westpark Chapel.
Natasha Sarah Hadfield
Mourners at the funeral of Natasha Sarah Hadfield.
Jayden Harris
The coffin for eight-month-old earthquake victim Jayden Harris is carried from the chapel.
Shane Tomlin
Shane Tomlin was a pastry baker and was working at Trocadero Bakery when the 6.3 earthquake hit. He fell through two floors when the bakery building collapsed.
Shane Tomlin
SHANE TOMLIN: The man whose haunting image became the human face of Christchurch's earthquake.
Christchurch earthquake victim Shane Tomlin's funeral
SAD GOODBYE: Christchurch earthquake victim Shane Tomlin was laid to rest after a funeral in Kaikoura.

Lyttelton fire chief Mark Buckley said one property has been evacuated and part of Reserve Terrace has been cordoned off.

Engineers are currently inspecting the site, but no action will be taken to demolish the building at this stage.

The families of victims of the Christchurch earthquake will be given a $10,000 cash grant from the New Zealand Red Cross.

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Christchurch earthquake
READY TO WORK: Police dog X wearing a pair of of search and rescue boots.
he damage inside the main building of ChristChurch Cathedral
DESTRUCTION: Images showing the damage inside the main building of ChristChurch Cathedral.
Christchurch earthquake
WET AND MUDDY: Arncliff St in Bexley is flooded and filled with silt.
Christchurch earthquake damage
MORE DAMAGE: Damage at the corner of Stanmore Rd and Worcester St in Christchurch.
CTV building in Christchurch
GRIM TASK: Searchers sift through the rubble of the CTV building in Christchurch.
Time capsule
This screen grab from TVNZ shows one of the time capsules discovered beneath a toppled statue.
statue of John Robert Godley
The statue of John Robert Godley, Cathedral Square, pictured in the Cathedral grounds circa 1930.
The statue of John Robert Godley
The statue of John Robert Godley, the founder of Canterbury lies toppled after the earthquake.
The statue of John Robert Godley
The statue of John Robert Godley, the founder of Canterbury lies toppled after the earthquake.
Damge from earthquake
Damage from the earthquake.
Damge from earthquake
Damage from the earthquake.
Damge from earthquake
Damage from the earthquake.
Damge from earthquake
Damage from the earthquake.
Damge from earthquake
Damage from the earthquake.
Time capsule
Sean Haggarty, Steve Proud and Anthony Wright with the discovery.
Time capsule
The first task will be to stabilise the paper found in the half-smashed glass bottle.
Time capsule
Two time capsules have been discovered underneath a statue damaged in the quake.
Time capsule
Two time capsules have been discovered underneath a statue damaged in the quake.
Civic Square
People begin to gather in Civic Square to mark two minutes silence.
People gather to observe two minutes' silence in commemoration of the victims of Christchurch's earthquake at Wellington's Civic Square.
People observe two minutes' silence in commemoration of the victims of Christchurch's earthquake at Wellington's Civic Square.
Two minutes of silence is marked in Palmerston North at 12.51pm today.
Two minutes' silence - Palmerston North
Remembering the quake
People stand outside the Christchurch Art Gallery at 12.51pm.
Remembering the quake
People stand outside the Christchurch Art Gallery at 12.51pm.
Remembering the quake
People stand outside the Christchurch Art Gallery at 12.51pm.
Remembering the quake
People stand outside the Christchurch Art Gallery at 12.51pm.
Remembering the quake
Hundreds of people gathered outside Palmerston North's All Saints Church to observe the two minutes' silence.
Remembering the quake
Hundreds of people gathered outside Palmerston North's All Saints Church to observe the two minutes' silence.
Invercargill's First Church
Two minutes silence is observed in Invercargill's First Church at 12.51pm.
Remembering the earthquake
People gather at Port Loop ground.
Prime minister John Key
Prime minister John Key observes 2 minutes silence at 12.51pm, one week after the quake struck Christchurch.
Prime minister John Key
Prime minister John Key observes 2 minutes silence at 12.51pm, one week after the quake struck Christchurch.
Remembering the quake
Members of the public embrace at the ceremony held in Christchurch where they observed two minutes silence to remember those that lost their lives.
Policeman
A policeman walks to the CTV site in Christchurch.
Natasha Sarah Hadfield
The funeral of Natasha Sarah Hadfield held at Westpark Chapel.
Stairwell
Photo of the stairwell the US rescue team is working to access.
Prime minster John key
Members of the public shake hands with Prime Minister John Key following a ceremony held in Christchurch.

The charity organisation has also announced emergency hardship grants of $1000 for families and $500 for single people.

5.47pm: Civil defence is working on allowing people to either collect cars from inside cordon, or have them driven out and picked up by owners.

5.46pm: The earthquake death toll has risen to 160, Superintendent Dave Cliff says.

5.10pm: More than 5000 analogue phones have been distributed to  Christchurch residents - and more are on the way.

Telecom had a "fantastic'' response after asking New Zealanders to donate their old telephones so those without power were still able to make phone calls, Telecom chief executive officer Paul Reynolds said.

4.25pm:
About 25,000 houses and businesses in Christchurch remain without electricity this afternoon.

Orion has restored power to 87 percent of customers following last Tuesday's 6.3 magnitude earthquake, which has so far claimed 159 lives and destroyed many parts of the city.

Around 16,600 of those awaiting reconnection are in the eastern suburbs of Brighton and Dallington, where there are 80 broken 11kV cables. Each cable takes power to anywhere between 100 and 3000 homes.

4.04pm: Free gas cylinder refills will be available at three sites until Friday, but refills at other sites will not be available after 5pm today.

Contact Energy has refilled more than 12,000, 9-kilogram cylinders since Friday last week to help those devastated by last Tuesday's quake.

Filling stations open until Friday 5pm are Butler Automart in Richmond, Mobil Wainoni and Contact Rockgas in Sydenham.

3.25pm: Prime Minister John Key says he will hit up his former colleagues from the financial world for quake donations.

Key said $500,000 was collected in half-an-hour while he was on an Australian morning radio show and an unnamed British man had indicated he would donate $4 million.

2.55pm: Several bars around New Zealand will hold a minute's silence at 7pm on Friday as a mark of respect for quake victims.

In addition, the profits from their beer sales on Friday night will be donated to the Red Cross earthquake appeal.

2.35pm: A Japanese reporter in Christchurch has lost his media accreditation after shouldering a police officer.

The man shouldered Canterbury police commander Superintendent Dave Cliff at the end of an interview this morning. He has not been charged, but police say such behaviour will not be tolerated. About 500 journalists from around the world are in Christchurch.

2.10pm: More than 5000 old analogue telephones have been delivered to quake-affected Christchurch residents.

Telecom asked Kiwis to donate their old phones for the campaign, and more are on their way to the city. And more than 55,000 calls have been made from the 260 Telecom phone booths across Christchurch.

1.50pm: More details have been revealed about ACC entitlements for quake victims.

Families of dead victims are paid a $5541 funeral grant; a one-off survivor grant to partners of the dead of $5940 and $2970 for each child under 18; as well as income compensation and childcare assistance. Medical costs of the injured are paid, as well as weekly income compensation of 80 per cent of earnings until the injured person returns to work.

12.55pm: Prime Minister John Key says the Christchurch rebuild could take 15 years, and one in three CBD buildings could be demolished. The central city might be closed until Christmas.

12.30pm: Around 500 Canterbury University students will move to Adelaide to continue their studies.

12.25pm: ACC faces a $370 million bill from the Christchurch earthquake. The figure includes payouts to families of those killed, and the ongoing care of the injured.

12.10pm: It will be some weeks before a stocktake of the damaged central city hotels can be taken.

About 1300 hotel rooms are currently unavailable because they are inside the cordon, though some are not thought to be seriously damaged. 

11.55am: Health bosses admit families of some elderly patients weren't told they'd been moved.

The district health board has moved about 300 elderly patients out of quake-damaged care facilities to other Christchurch and South Island locations, and while it had tried to contact all families, some had not been reached.

11.50am: The 7000 Christchurch "refugees" who have relocated to Timaru now make up 20% of its population.

11.30am: Canterbury University has posted a $12.4m surplus, including a $26.4m writedown on repairs after the last quake.

The university is still closed after last week's quake, but is largely undamaged.

11am: More homes in Sumner, near the RSA, were evacuated overnight after fears an unstable cliff would come down.

10.44am: Police have released the names of three more earthquake victims.

They are Jayden Andrews-Howland, 15; Paul Clarence Dunlop, 67 and Andrew Stephen Cochrane, 43, all of Christchurch.

Russell Wood from the Fire Services says Urban Search and Rescue teams have now made it to the 10th floor of the 26-storey Hotel Grand Chanchellor, but cannot get any higher up. They have cleared the building and no casulaties were found.

The steel support structure for the ChristChurch Cathedral is nearly finished and will be installed today, to allow search teams to enter the spire. It is believed about 22 bodies are buried in the rubble there.

USAR teams could not work in winds beyond 90kmh, and currently winds were at 70kmh.

10.39am: The earthquake death toll has risen to 159.

10.35am: Millions of face masks are being rushed into Christchurch as strong winds whip up choking dust storms.

Winds gusting up to 90kmh are buffeting the quake-damaged city this morning, raising concerns about people breathing in possibly contaminated dust and debris.

10.05am: Economic growth will be "severely dented" by the Christchurch earthquake, Business NZ says.

10am: The disaster identification team's working day is being extended from 8am to 6pm until 10pm each night as they work to identify the dead. Families probably know "in their heart of hearts" that missing loved ones are dead, says chief coroner Judge Neil MacLean.

9.25am: Retail spending has halved since the quake, with sales down around $5 million a day.

9.15am: Ten quake victims in Christchurch Hospital have had limbs amputated.

8.40am: Three bodies were recovered from the pancaked Pyne Gould building overnight, police say.

British rescuers at the site stopped work briefly early this morning for a moving karakia, police say. Many had missed yesterday's two minutes' silence and wanted to show their respect.

8.10am: Christchurch beaches are still contaminated, so locals are being warned not to swim in them.

Around 19 primary schools will re-open later this week or early next week.

8.05am: The words on one of the time capsules discovered yesterday were reportedly recorded in 1918.

Mayor Bob Parker described the discovery of the two time capsules in a toppled statue in Cathedral Square as "remarkable". A piece of paper that fell out of the broken glass capsule contained words reportedly recorded in a 1918 issue of the Nelson-based Colonist newspaper. The capsules will be preserved at the city museum.

7.55am: Eight more British disaster identification experts arrive in Christchurch today to help with the gruelling task of identifying victims. Meanwhile, the Israel government will complain to Prime Minister John Key after an offer of help from search and rescue teams was reportedly refused by New Zealand.

7.05am: Christchurch will escape the rising petrol prices coming into effect around New Zealand today. The price for 91 octane is at a two-year high of $2.07, but oil companies are sparing Christchurch the five cents a litre rise.

6.57am: Police say more bodies were recovered overnight. The names of 12 victims are expected to be released today. Just eight of the expected 240 dead have been named so far.

There were more arrests overnight. One person was caught breaking the cordon, another two breaking into a bar, and a fourth man was caught with jewellery allegedly stolen from homes.

6.50am: Next month's Canterbury University graduations have reportedly been cancelled to reduce the impact on the city's damage

6.30am: High winds gusting up to 90kmh are forecast for the city today, raising concerns about dust storms.

The wind is already picking up this morning, and Mayor Bob Parker advises people to wear facemasks to reduce irritation from the dust, which is not thought to be toxic. Police and other search and rescue workers are wearing masks and protective glasses today. Water tankers are hosing areas where USAR staff are working in an attempt to reduce dust levels.

6.20am: Limited bus services will resume in Christchurch at 7am tomorrow, and travel will be free for two weeks.

6am: There were two aftershocks in Christchurch overnight - a 3.6 magnitude quake at 10.12pm and a 4.6 magnitude tremor at 10.42pm, both centred near Lyttelton.

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