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Death Toll Now 154

Quake Update 68 -

0634hrs, 1 March 2011

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LATEST

The death toll in the Christchurch earthquake has now risen to 154 (0634hrs, 1 March) and is expected to increase further.

The identity of eight of the deceased has been publicly released. See: http://www.police.govt.nz/list-deceased

There have been 70 people rescued alive.

There are more than 240 people reported missing (unaccounted for) in the worst-damaged sites in the city. This number will include many, or all, of the fatalities.

The disaster victim identification process is thorough and time-consuming.

Disaster victim identification teams from Thailand and Israel have now joined the operation (1800hrs, 28 February), making this a truly international effort. Police say they are grateful for all assistance received.

A four-strong disaster victim identification team from Queensland has now arrived in New Zealand to further bolster the numbers of people working to help identify those who have died. There are now more than 170 people involved in this phase of the operation.


Prime Minister releases initial earthquake assistance package

Prime Minister John Key has announced a six week assistance package to provide immediate support for Christchurch businesses and workers affected by last week's major earthquake. The package is made up of two parts:

An Earthquake Support Subsidy to help employers keep paying wages

Earthquake Job Loss Cover to support employees whose employer believes their business is no longer viable.

People can apply online, over the phone or they can come into Work and Income, but they will need their IRD number and a bank account number to speed the process.

To apply online go to: www.workandincome.govt.nz

To apply by phone call: 0800 779997More information see the Ministry of Social Development website


Message for Christchurch residents who have relocated

Christchurch residents who have relocated since 22 February's earthquake are asked to:

If you are registered with Red Cross, please contact them to update your details.

If you are not registered with Red Cross, please contact your local Civil Defence Emergency Management Office, who will then register you to ensure that you are not included as a missing person.

Please alert friends and family that you are safe.

ends

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