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Earthquake: Death Toll Rises To 182 People

Christchurch Earthquake: Death Toll Rises To 166

Report - By the Scoop Team.

UPDATE MARCH 18: Christchurch Earthquake Victims And Families Will Be Remembered At Memorial Today - At Midday today a memorial service will be held at Christchurch's Hagley Park to remember all the victims and those who have suffered as a result of the earthquake. Police state that 182 people died in the quake that struck at 12:51pm on February 22.

HRH Prince William, Prime Minister John Key, the Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand, the Mayor of Christchurch Bob Parker and other dignitaries will also be at the service to pay special tribute to the people of Christchurch and all families who have lost loved ones.

The service will be broadcast live on TV One and TV3 from 12 noon and on Radio NZ from Morning Report onwards. Click here for more>> + Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal reaches $17 million - The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal has so far raised $17.7 million to help rebuild the Christchurch community. The Prime Minister launched the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal on 27 February to help channel funds into rebuilding places and services for Christchurch communities.

The intention is for the Appeal to address the gap between emergency support provided by other charitable agencies, and core government responsibilities. Click here for more>> + Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat

Police Release Two More Names Of Victims On Thursday evening, Police confirmed the identities of a further two people who died in the Christchurch earthquake. They are:

John Kristoffer Villegas CHUA, 24 (male) of the Philippines
Chang LAI, 27 (female) of China

This brings the total number of names released to 142.

Recovery of vehicles from ChCh CBD this weekend - This is a reminder to vehicle owners that the Police Vehicle Recovery Team will be endeavouring to clear three car parks within the cordoned area of Christchurch city this weekend. Click here for more>>


MARCH 17: 11:00am - 11 names released following Christchurch earthquake - Police have this evening confirmed the identities of a further 11 people who died in the Christchurch earthquake. They are:

Emmabelle Cabahug ANOBA, 26 (female), of the Philippines
Heidi Julie BERG, 36 (female), of Christchurch
Yuki HASUMOTO, 22 (female), of Japan
Tomoki ISHIKURO, 19 (male), of Japan
Saori KIKUDA, 19 (female), of Japan
De LI, 18 (male), of China
Wanju LI, 44 (female), of China
Emi MURAKAMI, 19 (female), of Japan
Saya SAKUDA, 19 (female), of Japan
Yurika UCHIHIRA, 19 (female), of Japan
Saki YOKOTA, 19 (female), of Japan.

This brings the total number of names released to 140.

New Zealand Flag at half mast on Friday 18 March - At the request of the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable John Key, the New Zealand Flag is to be half-masted on all Government and public buildings on Friday 18 March 2011, to mark the memorial service for the victims of the Christchurch earthquake. Click here for more>> + Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat

Royal couple show support for the ChCh Earthquake Appeal - Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton have chosen the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal as one of a select group of charities in their Royal Wedding charitable gift fund. Click here for more>> + Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat

Libraries to show earthquake commemoration service - Hawke's Bay residents have shown deep empathy with the people of Christchurch, affected by the devastating earthquake which struck on February 22nd. New Website Tells Tales Of The Christchurch Earthquake - In both the devastating February 22nd earthquake in Christchurch, and the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, social and online media has played a vital part in the spread of information and the organisation of rebuilding efforts. Click here for more>>


MARCH 16 11:15am SPCA Hails Its Christchurch Heroes - The Royal New Zealand SPCA has hailed the work of its animal rescue and welfare team in the aftermath of last month's Christchurch earthquake. Click here for more>> + Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat

Masport Pledges Donation to Red Cross Earthquake Appeal - Masport, in conjunction with other Tiri Group New Zealand companies, has today announced a corporate donation of $125,000 to the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal, established to provide relief to the thousands of Canterbury residents. Click here for more>> + Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat

Nursing Students Mobilise To Help Earthquake Victims - Touched by the plight of those affected by the Christchurch earthquake, EIT Bachelor of Nursing student Jaime White very much wanted to do something to help. Click here for more>> + Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat

Computers and IT equipment needed for Christchurch - To support the Christchurch City rebuild, donations of computers, printers, mobile phones and networking equipment are needed. Click here for more>>


LIVE Chat (below) is open to all to discuss the earthquake.

LIVE Chat by
Watch live streaming video from liveearthquakechat at

MARCH 15 5:00pm - Further Names Released in Christchurch Earthquake - Police have this afternoon confirmed the identities of a further six people who died in the Christchurch earthquake.

They are:
Marina ARAI, 19 (female), of Japan
Valquin Descalsota BENSURTO, 23 (male), of the Philippines
Adrienne MEREDITH, 36, of Christchurch
Yoko SUZUKI, 31 (female), of Japan
Tao WANG, 29 (female), of China
Didem YAMAN, 31 (female), of Turkey.

This brings the total number of names released to 129 people.

Ceremonial Blessing of Sites a Time for Grief and healing - Christchurch Police say a ceremonial blessing of sites where people died in the 22 February earthquake is another step in helping residents, communities and families of victims come to terms with the tragic loss of life.

Local kaumatua and a police chaplain have today [Tuesday 15 March] completed blessing ceremonies at more than 20 locations around the CBD and wider city. Click here for more>> + Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat

Vehicle recovery website now up and running - A web application is now available for people who need to register vehicles which remain within the cordoned area of the Christchurch CBD. A further 363 vehicles were returned to owners yesterday with 79 more owners contacted and making arrangements for collection. That means nearly 750 cars have been returned to owners since Saturday. Click here for more>> + Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat


MARCH 14: 11:30am Charity Cricket Match - Fill the Basin raised $500,000 for the Prime Minister’s Earthquake Appeal. Match organsier Stephen Fleming said he was overwhelmed at the support of Wellingtonians:

“The city has got right in behind this event,” said Fleming. “I’d like to thank our partners, the players and all those who made the event a special day. It was great having Bob Parker here on behalf of the people of Canterbury and I hope the event helped show Canterbury how much the country is behind them.” Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat

Transcript of PM John Key interview on TV ONE’s Breakfast - All eyes are on the rescue and recovery efforts in north east Japan and to tell us how New Zealand will respond and still handle the situation at home here in Christchurch. Click here to read the transcript>> + Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat

Radio Adelaide: Manning On NZ USAR Team To Japan + Cricket Legends - New Zealand news update: Selwyn Manning and Radio Adelaide's Jessie Wingard discuss how New Zealand is sending a 48-strong urban search and rescue team to Japan to assist in the post-Earthquake and Tsunami rescue effort.

Also discussed was how a Cricket legends fundraiser game saw Shane Warne, Sir Richard Hadley, Martin Crowe and a host of Cricket and sporting legends play a 20/20 game at Wellington's Basin Reserve. The event raised over $500,000.00 toward assisting Christchurch. Click here to listen>> + Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat

On Sunday afternoon Police released Four more names of those who died in the Christchurch Earthquake - Police confirmed the identities of a further four people who died in the Christchurch earthquake. They are:

Siwen HUO, 28 (female) of China
Kayo KANAMARU, 19 (female) of Japan
Erica Avir Reyes NORA, 20 (female) of Phillipines
Caiying YE, 27 (female) of China.

This brings the total number of names released to 117.

AA Insurance Christchurch mobile centres: Locations - Mobile Customer Response Teams from AA Insurance are in Christchurch providing direct emergency assistance to their customers. Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat + Click here for more info>>

On Saturday Police released 10 additional names of deceased - On Saturday afternoon Police confirmed the identities of a further 10 people who died in the Christchurch earthquake. There were:

Rhys Frank BROOKBANKS, 25, of Christchurch
John Barry CRAIG (known as Barry), 67, of Christchurch
Jennifer Ann Donaldson, 55, of Christchurch
Toshiko IMAOKA, 34 (female), of Japan
Thanydha INTARANGKUN, 36 (female), of Thailand
Wanpen PREEKLANG, 45 (female), of Thailand
Gillian SAYERS, 43, of Christchurch (UK citizen)
Isaac James THOMPSON, 21, of Rangiora
Paul Khye Soon WU, 60, of Christchurch (NZ citizen from Malaysia)
Mina YAMATANI, 19 (female), of Japan.

This brings the total number of names released to 113.

MARCH 11: Midday - Christchurch 1996 Quake Doco - describes why buildings collapse - Via YouTube - Longbayman's Channel - An edited version of the 1996 documentary "Earthquake!" which emphasised Christchurch's vulnerability to liquefaction. Documentary director Grant Dixon has said he decided to upload this version to draw attention to the issue of soil resonance. Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat + Click here for more info>>

Prison Kitchens Working Round the Clock - Department Of Corrections reports that prisoners from Christchurch Men’s and Women’s Prisons have worked around the clock over the last fortnight, feeding hundreds of extra hungry mouths after February 22nd’s devastating earthquake in Christchurch. Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat + Click here for more info>>

Brownlee announces New EQC assessment process for quake-damaged homes - The Earthquake Commission's new assessment process will give Christchurch homeowners more certainty about the status of their homes, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. The EQC announced today it will begin a new rapid assessment process of all Christchurch houses over the next eight weeks to prioritise needs and urgent repairs. Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat + Click here for more info>>

Christchurch tertiary institutions reopening progressively - The Minister for Tertiary Education, Steven Joyce, is asking students and trainees enrolled with tertiary education institutions in Christchurch to keep in touch with their providers to ensure they are abreast of reopening plans. Click here for more info>>

Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition two - The Labour Party’s Christchurch electorate MPs, Clayton Cosgrove (Waimakariri), Ruth Dyson (Port Hills), Lianne Dalziel (Christchurch East) and Brendon Burns (Christchurch Central) have started a regular bulletin to keep people in their electorates and media informed about what is happening at grass roots level. Your View? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat + Click here for more info>>

Earthquake Stress - The CDHB Anxiety Disorders Unit has put together some practical tips about coping with earthquake stress. We have now experienced two major earthquakes and are continuing to experience ongoing aftershocks, which have had significant consequences for many people. Following such immensely upsetting events, people understandably feel distressed. More information is available at>>

A Big Thank You and An Update on Port Status - Lyttelton Port Company: "Now that we have a moment to take a breath after the devastating earthquake of 22 February 2011, we’d like to thank all our customers and business partners for their tremendous assistance and ongoing faith in us during these difficult times." Click here for more info>>

Hamilton YSAR members to share their Chch quake experiences - Local Youth Search and Rescue (YSAR) members will be sharing their experiences of assisting in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake during a presentation in the Hamilton City Council reception lounge this Sunday, 13 March from 7pm-9pm. Click here for more info>>

Police confirm latest 12 names of deceased - The identities of a further 12 people who died in the Christchurch earthquake.

They are:

Dr Husam Sabar AL-ANI, 55, of Christchurch (a NZ citizen from Iraq)
Jane-Marie ALBERTS, 44, of Christchurch
Andrew James Llewellyn BISHOP, 33, of Christchurch
Beverley Faye KENNEDY, 60, of Christchurch
Kyoko KAWAHATA, 20, of Japan
Philip John McDONALD, 57, of Ashburton
Deborah Ann ROBERTS, 39, of Christchurch
Emma SHAHARUDIN, 35, of Lincoln, Christchurch
Christine Patricia (Trish) STEPHENSON, 61, of Christchurch
Lesley Jane THOMSON, 55, of Christchurch
Amanda Jayne (Mandy) URIAO, 38, of Christchurch
Julie Kathryn WONG, 37, of Christchurch (dual UK and NZ citizenship).


MARCH 10: 11:50am - Canterbury DHB Earthquake Update - Christchurch residents need to continue to boil or treat drinking water, despite chlorination. Despite actions being taken to repair Christchurch’s drinking water supply, Christchurch residents still need to boil or treat all water used for drinking, brushing teeth or in food preparation. The Christchurch City Council is working to make Christchurch’s water supply safe to drink, including repairing infrastructure and chlorinating supply to parts of the city where there is a high risk of contaminated water. Click here for more info>>

Scoop Business: Earthquake Makes Counter-Cyclical “Perfect Storm” - Comment by Pattrick Smellie Reading today’s Monetary Policy Statement from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand produces an odd mixture of conflicting emotions.

On the one hand, it’s a relief to see the governor, Alan Bollard, giving the economy a break by cutting the Official Cash rate by 50 basis points to 2.5%, back where it sat for more than a year till last June. Good Or Bad Move? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat>> + Click here for more info>>

Christchurch residents OK for counselling services - Christchurch residents who require counselling after the earthquake should have no trouble getting it, the NZ Association of Counsellors (NZAC) said today. Click here for more info>>

AA Insurance Christchurch mobile centres - Mobile Customer Response Teams from AA Insurance are in Christchurch providing direct emergency assistance to their customers. Today they are at St Mark’s Methodist Church, the Cashmere Club, Waltham Park and St Albans Park. Click here for more info>>


MARCH 9: 5:37pm - Police release eight more names of deceased Police have confirmed the identities of a further eight people who died in the Christchurch earthquake.

• Ivy Jane CABUNILAS, 33, of the Philippines
• Rachel Elizabeth CONLEY, 27, of the United States of America
• Dian Mary FALCONER, 54, of Christchurch
• Adam Stephen FISHER, 27, of Belfast, Christchurch
• Marian Isabella McKirdy HILBERS, 49, of Christchurch
• Kelly Lynn MAYNARD, 43, of Christchurch
• Michael Stuart Coulter STYANT, 41, of Christchurch
• Stephen Robert WRIGHT, 46, of Christchurch

[NOTE: Please also note the following clarifications of names previously released]

Susan Patricia CHUTER (not Chuters)
Normand LEE (not Norman)
Philip Graeme Reeve COPPEARD (note first names)

Wellington District Police adopt Cantabrian World War II Vet - Wellington District Police officers deployed to Christchurch have adopted a World War II veteran, whom they found in the middle of the CBD cordon zone, walking amongst condemned buildings. Click here for more info>>

Big-hearted response for Chch from big business - Local companies are rallying to support the Christchurch relief effort, including sending technical experts to the quake-affected city and providing logistical support at the national crisis management centre in Wellington. Auckland Mayor Len Brown. Click here for more info>>

10:50am - Investment in trade training critical to Canterbury rebuild - Labour Leader Phil Goff is calling on the Government to take immediate action to get people into training for trades like building, plumbing, plastering and drain-laying so we have the skilled workforce needed to rebuild Canterbury.

"This is a critical issue. It cannot be ignored. The Government must act now to build an army of workers with the right mix of skills to rebuild the devastated Canterbury region, including the tens of thousands of homes, schools and businesses that have been destroyed or damaged," Phil Goff said. Good Or Bad Move? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat>> + Click here for more info>>

ChCh Public Information Update - Temporary road closure:
• Park Terrace between Armagh Street and Bealey Avenue has been closed until further notice.
Controlled Access for businesses to Red Zone CBD:
• For businesses to be permitted controlled and escorted access into the Red Zone in the CBD they must register on the website. Click here for more info>>

Police are able to release the names of a further 13 people who died in the earthquake - They are:

Henry Ross Bush, 75 of Christchurch
Helen Margaret Chambers, 44 of Christchurch
Susan Patricia Chuters, 52 of Christchurch
Graeme Reeve Coppeard, 41 of Christchurch
Estelle Marie Cullen, 32 of Christchurch
Marielle Falardeau, 60, of Canada
Norman Lee, 25 of Christchurch
Adrienne Isobel Lindsay, 54 of Christchurch
Kelsey Sinitta Moore, 18 of Christchurch
Jillian Lesley Murphy, 48 of Christchurch
Taneysha Gail Prattley, 5 weeks of Christchurch
Desley Ann Thomson, 32 of Christchurch
Siriphan Wongbunngam, 27 of Thailand.


MARCH 8: 3:00pm - Govt Cuts Red-Tape in Quake Recovery Efforts - The government has, in consultation with opposition parties, approved nine orders in council to cut red-tape and help speed up the recovery process after the Christchurch earthquake, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee announced today. Good Or Bad Move? Click here for Scoop LIVE Chat>> + Click here for more info>>

John Key: Ministerial Statement on Canterbury Earthquake - On this day 2 weeks ago, Christchurch was ripped apart by a devastating earthquake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale. So far it's been confirmed 166 loved ones have lost their lives, and we're told the final toll could be over 200. Click here for more>>

ANZ 2011 Earthquake Appeal Update - The ANZ New Zealand 2011 Canterbury Earthquake Appeal now totals more than $4.14 million as at 9.30am today. This includes more than $199,000 from staff donations which will be matched dollar for dollar by the bank. Click here for more>>

10:45AM - Fire Service USAR Update - · Forsyth Barr building - work is continuing on clearing the stairwell. This work is around 60 percent complete.

· Multi-agency teams including New Zealand and international USAR team members, firefighters and police have today been continuing controlled deconstruction and debris clearance. This includes includes assessing and clearing smaller red and yellow stickered buildings, both within the central city and in the suburbs. More than 500 buildings have now been cleared. Click here for more>>

Emergency Department inundated with gifts and messages of support - Christchurch Hospital's Emergency Department has been inundated recently -not with injured or sick patients - but food and kindness. Home baking, messages of support and lots of other special goodies have flooded into the department's doors since the February 22 earthquake and it's keeping staff smiling and their stomachs full. Click here for more>>

'Pop Up' Farmers’ Market For Quake Hit Suburb - A ’Pop Up’ Farmers’ Market was held at the middle of one ofChristchurch’s worst hit earthquake suburbs on Saturday morning. It was a chance for Mt Pleasant, Redcliffs, Sumner and Lyttelton locals to access fresh food in a safe community space. Click here for more>>

Red Cross Commission Tours Christchurch Two Weeks On - New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Commission members travelled through Christchurch's eastern suburbs today talking to residents and assessing the needs of communities two weeks on from the February 22 quake. Click here for more>>

Canterbury residents to take some time out in Hawke's Bay - The phone has been ringing off the hook as Canterbury residents rush to take up an offer of free flights and accommodation in Hawke's Bay. Click here for more>>

Fashion industry reaches out to the children of Christchurch - The constant barrage of disturbing media images, and the fact that most school-children were away from their parents at the time of the 22 February earthquake in Christchurch have created significant distress and trauma for the children, says Kids Fashion. Click here for more>>


MARCH 7: 4:55pm - Memorial Service Date Announced - PM John Key has announced a National Memorial Service will be held on March 18 to honour victims of the Christchurch earthquake. The service will be held in Christchurch's Hagley Park.

Scoop News: Brownlee Emotive Over Demolition Comments - Goff - Labour leader Phil Goff said Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee's comments on demolishing buildings were emotive and ill-advised and said he was sure Brownlee was reconsidering his postion on Christchurch's heritage buildings. Brownlee had earlier said all but a handful of heritage buildings will be demolished. Click here for more>>

Christchurch Earthquake BNZ Infrastructure update - BNZ will be operating a mobile banking trailer and ATM near the closed BNZ store on Seaview Road, New Brighton. Staff will be onsite from 11am to 2pm tomorrow, offering advice, water and a free sausage sizzle. Click here for more>>

Give Christchurch 100% at Wellington Airport - Give Christchurch 100% at Wellington Airport All proceeds from March car park bookings will be donated to Christchurch Wellington Airport will donate 100% of all online car parking proceeds during March 2011 to the NZ Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal. Click here for more>>

2:20pm - Fire Service/USAR Update - • Forsyth Barr - Work is continuing on clearing the stairwell in the Forsyth Barr building. Progress is being made but is slow work. The United States USAR team is working on this site with support from the New Zealand Fire Service, other emergency services and private contractors.

• Grand Chancellor – this building has now been cleared by USAR and operations there have concluded.

• The focus for other USAR operations includes controlled deconstruction and debris clearance. It also includes assessing and clearing smaller red and yellow stickered buildings, both within the central city and in the suburbs.

• Multi-agency teams including New Zealand and international USAR team members, firefighters and police were yesterday able to clear about 300 buildings and will be continuing to operate today. They have a priority list of buildings that has been decided in association with Civil Defence, the City Council and Police but will also try to assist other building owners they come across, where possible.

• Civil Defence is the main point of contact for inquiries about buildings. Click here for more>>

Veterinary Services Now Largely Operational - Veterinary Services Now Largely Operational in Christchurch A survey of veterinary clinics by the NZ Veterinary Association has found that the majority are now operational. Click here for more>>

11:10am - Sir Ian McKellen and Russell Crowe at cricket fund-raiser for Christchurch on Sunday - New Zealand cricket legends will join Stephen Fleming and Shane Warne in the “Fill The Basin for Christchurch”Twenty20 match this coming Sunday, 13 March from 4pm.

Stephen Fleming said: “Another highlight for the match will be the special appearance of Hobbit actor Sir Ian McKellen as Match Referee.

“We are in talks with a number of international and national celebrities who are keen to join Russell Crowe in being involved and there will be further announcements during the week," Stephen Fleming said. Click here for more>>

10:18am - The Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand will be visiting Christchurch and recovery centres in New Brighton today.

State Of Emergence - The National State of Emergency will be extended today and is expected to remain in place for some time yet.

Last night Police released names of 15 earthquake victims - Police have released more names of deceased who have died in the Christchurch earthquake. They are:
Linda Isobel ARNOLD, 57 of Christchurch
Dr Dominic Joseph Gerard BELL, 45 of Christchurch
Ian Neville CALDWELL, 47 of Christchurch
Donald Ashby COWEY, 82 of Christchurch
Maureen Valerie FLETCHER, 75 of Christchurch
Wai Fong LAU, 87 of Christchurch
Catherine McNicol LUNNEY, 62 of Christchurch
Owen Thomas Mckenna, 40 of Christchurch
Ofer Binyamin MIZRAHI, 22 of Israel
Joseph Stuart ROUTLEDGE (known as Stuart), 74 of Christchurch
Lucy ROUTLEDGE, 74 of Christchurch
Christopher Patrick SMITH, 48 of Selwyn
Gregory James TOBIN, 25 of Christchurch
Shane Robert TOMLIN, 42 of Christchurch
Lisa Patricia WILLEMS, 43 of Christchurch

A list of all victims Police have named so far can be found at

Southern Students Lend Christchurch A Hand - Student Volunteer Army reinforcements from the South Island’s southern cities stepped into the breech while Canterbury students took a well earned break over the weekend.

On Saturday a bus load of Selwyn College, Otago University, students from Dunedin joined Street Teams delivering pamphlets to Christchurch’s eastern suburbs. The fliers gave residents notice of a series of Christchurch City Council organised public meetings. The Dunedin students then picked up shovels and helped residents in Bexley clear silt. Click here for more>>


MARCH 6: 12:30pm - The death toll from the Christchurch earthquake has risen to 166, with more bodies expected to be recovered over the next few days and the total death toll is expected to rise to around 220 people.

Police yesterday released the names of six more victims - They are: Melanie Jane Brown, 54, Christopher Grant Homan, 35, Allan Alexander Sinclair, 46, Murray John Wood, 57, all of Christchurch, Melissa Ann Neale, 42, of Wellington and Gilhwan Yu, 24, of Korea. Click here for more>>

Special Draw Raises $8,248,300 for Christchurch Earthquake Appeal - There were 1.8 million tickets sold for this week’s special Lotto draw, which raised $8,248,300 for the Government’s Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, announced NZ Lotteries’ Chief Executive Todd McLeay tonight. Fifty percent of the sales of all Lotto, Lotto Strike and Lotto Powerball tickets entered into the 5 March 2011 draw will go to help the people of Christchurch. Click here for more>>

MARCH 5: 3:07pm - Anyone who has left Christchurch as a result of the earthquake on 22 February should register with Red Cross and keep the organisation up to date on their whereabouts. Click here for more>>

USAR Saturday Update - * USAR teams are today continuing the recovery phase work.
* Cathedral – USAR teams have completed clearing the inside of the spire and are pleased to report that it is clear. There are additional checks yet to be completed in other parts of the building and surrounds .
* Forsyth Barr – all internal shoring work is completed allowing good progress on clearing the stairwell debris. Click here for more>>

Bulk deployment ends – Squadron and Street team work to continue - After digging silt in 30 degree heat on the last day of their deployment the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) Battalion were praised by Tertiary Education Minister, the Hon. Stephen Joyce, for their effort in bringing a sense of normality back to suburban Christchurch. Click here for more>>

MARCH 4: 2:45pm - Dunne unveils new way to give to quake appeal - New Zealanders will be able to donate their accumulated tax credits from donations they have made in the current tax year to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne announced today. Click here for more>>

Waikato Police staff reflect on another shift in Quake stricken Christchurch - An eerie silence is the most noticeable feature for Waikato Police officers as they finish another shift securing cordons around central Christchurch.

Thames Sub-Area Manager, Senior Sergeant Graham Shields is leading a 25-strong detachment of officers assisting Canterbury residents rebuild their communities: "One of the things that stood out the most overnight was the lack of people, the stillness and the sight of tableware and coffee mugs in places like cafes, left where they were put down when everyone fled." Click here for more>>

NZ Defence Update - HMNZS CANTERBURY has arrived in Lyttelton with her second consignment of supplies for Christchurch, including portable showers. She will commence unloading when the tide allows, at approximately 2pm. Click here for more>>

(BusinessDesk) IMF mission to assess New Zealand economy – The International Monetary Fund is sending a mission to New Zealand to assess the state of the economy, just weeks after the devastating Christchurch earthquake. Click here for more>>

(BusinessDesk) Kiwi dollar falls to 19-year low against Aussie - by Paul McBeth – The New Zealand dollar touched a 19-year low against the Australian dollar ahead of next week’s expected interest rate cuts and an International Monetary Fund warning of lower economic growth in New Zealand. Click here for more>>

12:12pm - Police release more names - Police have released the names of seven more people confirmed dead following the Christchurch earthquake. They are:

• Joan Dorothy WIELD, 76
• Graham WIELD, 77
• Matthew Stuart McEACHEN, 25
• Neil Glyn STOCKER, 58
• Haruthaya LUANGSURAPEESAKUL, 32, of Thailand
• Scott William Emerson LUCY, 38
• Dr Maysoon Mahdi ABBAS, 61.

The total number of confirmed dead is 163. Superintendent Sam Hoyle says high visibility patrols have continued, with nearly a hundred staff out last night in the eastern suburbs of the city. He says it is important that people in Christchurch know normal police work is continuing as usual, and people should contact police if they need to. Click here for more>>

11:20am - Today is the last day for mass SVA mobilisation - Friday, will be the last day the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) is mobilised en masse – from here on in the effort will shift to the rear guard, Squadrons and Street Team. To celebrate comedians and musicians will descend on UCSA carpark tomorrow afternoon. Click here for more>>

Christchurch’s Canterbury Farmers’ Markets at Dean’s Bush is managing to operate this weekend as usual, but with the effects of last week’s devastating earthquake Lyttelton Farmers’ Market is not currently able to operate. Instead, a “Pop up” Farmers’ Market has been organised this Saturday in Mt Pleasant that will service Sumner, Redcliffs, Mt Pleasant, Woolston, Linwood and South Shore communities. Click here for more>>

Biggest day for crews clearing silt from city streets - Crews working to clear Christchurch streets of silt had their biggest day today, removing 50,000 tonnes of the grey dust and sludge. Over 420 contractors are involved in the work which is being led by City Care and Fulton Hogan. The total tonnage removed since the 22 February earthquake has now reached 218,000 tonnes, most of which has been trucked to Burwood landfill. Click here for more>>

8:45am Death toll rises to 163 people - Urban Search And Rescue Teams recovered two more bodies over night, bringing the number of bodies retrieved from the rubble to 163.


MARCH 3: 4:56pm - Who needs a day off when you can help out a mate? - Aussie assistance to Kiwi colleagues - We came here to work and that's what we want to do is the message from Australian Police officers giving up a day off from emergency quake duties to assist stricken Christchurch Police staff. New South Wales Police Chief Inspector, Kim Sorenson, was leading a team of four Australian officers this morning assisting Christchurch Police Photographer Geoff Burns refurbish his Cashmere home. Click here for more>>

3:07pm - The Christchurch Urban Search and Rescue operation is officially moving from a rescue mission to a recovery operation. More information to come...

Significant support for Cantabs in Auckland - More than 2000 Cantabrians have now registered at Auckland’s reception centres, with agencies predicting a short-term population boost of up to 21,000 for the Auckland region. Auckland Council’s Civil Defence team has set up three reception centres for people displaced from Christchurch, at Auckland Airport, Lambie Drive in Manukau, and Whenuapai, where they are allocated emergency accommodation and other support. Click here for more>>

Urban Search and Rescue - Grand Chancellor – NZ USAR confirm they have now searched beyond the 10th floor . Search of the remainder of the building is almost complete however parts of the stairwell remain a problem due to rubble. Searching of surrounding buildings is now complete.

Forsyth Barr building - We are moving to a 24/7 operation. The stairwell has pancaked down to carpark level (first and second stories) . In order to continue the search, a section of the wall will be removed to gain access and remove the collapsed stairwell . The USA team described this as a significant job. There are no stairs available for access below the 10th floor.

CTV building - NZ/Japan/China teams are still working on what is a very slow and technical operation and requires good daylight visibility.

Cathedral - The steel support structure is now in place and has been secured to the front cathedral window. The New Zealand USAR team are preparing to make access to the inside area of the collapsed spire. This will then allow the systematic and controlled deconstruction of the debris to ascertain the location and recover of any victims in this area.

Pyne Gould – The delayering process of the concrete floors of the building continues with the UK and NZ teams estimating that the work will be completed by late Friday or early Saturday. Click here for more>>

1:00pm - Death toll increases to 161 people - Police have confirmed that the death toll has increased to 161 people. Of the 161, 90 were found in the CTV building, 14 in the PGC building and the remainder from other locations around the city. Superintendent Hoyle said Police were meeting with families everyday. The families had also met with USAR, Coronial and DVI team representatives and provided them with as much information as possible to help them understand the identification process: "We fully understand the necessity of providing families with information and explaining why we have to be sure we have the correct identities of those who have died."

Police have also confirmed the names of two more people who have died in Christchurch. They are: Ofer Levy, male, aged 22 from Israel Gabi Moshe Ingel, male, aged 23 from Israel. Click here for more>>

The New Zealand Herald reported "Ruatoria based Radio Ngati Porou is currently running a 24hr Radiothon for earthquake relief. The station has been working with Te Runanga o Ngati Porou. You can listen to the Radiothon online, here.

Australian Police blown away by Kiwi's 'volunteeriness' - If there was such a word as 'volunteeriness' that is how Kiwis would be summed up according to Australian Police touched by the community spirit in Christchurch following last week's quake. Around 15 Australian and 25 New Zealand Police officers joined members of the NZ Army carrying out reassurance patrols and door knocks in New Brighton and adjoining suburbs today.

Sergeant Tony Bear of the New South Wales Police said he was overwhelmed by the community spirit he had seen since he had arrived from Australia: "The general public have just been brilliant, we've been so impressed by people volunteering assistance to others and the number of people bringing us food and thanking us for being here. Click here for more>>

9:00am - Red Cross Commission Announces Emergency Grant - The independent New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Commission has now been established to disburse the first emergency and hardship grants from the Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal. The Chair of the appeal Commission, Sir John Hansen, announced the grant details following a meeting of the Commission in Christchurch on Wednesday. Click here for more>>

Grand Chancellor – NZ USAR confirm they have now searched beyond the 10th floor . Search of the remainder of the building is almost complete however parts of the stairwell remain a problem due to rubble. Click here for more>>


MARCH 2: 6:00pm - Christchurch earthquake death toll rises - Police this afternoon confirmed that the death toll has risen to 160. More than 250 families and friends of those who have perished in the Christchurch earthquake were taken on a tour of the CBD. Mayor Bob Parker said it was an "emotional hour". The group included around 150 New Zealand residents and approximately 100 visitors from overseas.

Don’t create more social costs by reducing WFF - CPAG - The Government has said it may cut spending programmes such as Working for Families (WFF) to help pay for the Christchurch earthquake. But CPAG says that pressures on already struggling families will intensify. Click here for more>>

Queenstown people are encouraged to support a Music Relief Concert planned for Sunday (6 March) to raise funds for the victims of the Christchurch Earthquake. Click here for more>>

Interislander Plays its Part in Helping Christchurch - Interislander staff and ships are doing their bit to make sure urgently-needed supplies make their way to Christchurch. Passenger numbers are also up as people leave Christchurch for the north. Click here for more>>

Christchurch Beaurepaires stores are providing FREE tyre repairs for passenger, emergency and rescue vehicles until 31 March. All stores are open except Durham Street, Tuam Street and Moorhouse Avenue. See for further details.

1:35pm - Cordon management and access - Plans are progressing to allow people to retrieve vehicles abandoned within the CBD cordon after last week’s earthquake, and for limited access to some buildings. Threats to personal safety remain the main reason behind the continuing restrictions on access through the cordon. However, Civil Defence is planning how to provide business owners and residents with limited supervised access to their property inside the cordon. Click here for more>>

Recent tragic events in Christchurch should reinforce to all of us the benefits in having a household emergency plan, Wellington Region Civil Defence Emergency Management Chairperson Jenny Rowan said today. She added: “An effective household emergency plan only takes a few minutes to prepare and can take a lot of stress out of the period that follows a natural disaster or major household emergency,” Jenny Rowan said. Click here for more>>

‘Farmy Army’ working hard clearing schools - Teams from Federated Farmers ‘Farmy Army’ are working hard on schools in the Shirley area of Christchurch. With an estimated 600 volunteers working all over Christchurch today, these numbers will grow with many more farmers arriving before the weekend. Click here for more>>

11:00am Christchurch earthquake death toll rises - Police this morning confirmed that the death toll has risen to 159, after four more bodies were recovered from the rubble.

More than 27,000 people remain without power to their homes, most of the damage occurred in the eastern sector of Christchurch city where a large number of homes were destroyed.

39 Christchurch Self-Evacuees Registered In Waikato - Thirty-nine people who have self-evacuated from Christchurch to the Waikato have registered through Work and Income but there are many more now sheltering in the region following last week's earthquake. Click here for more>>

Vulnerable older people, those with long term medical conditions or people with disabilities of any age who have self evacuated from Christchurch should contact Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s needs assessment service. Click here for more>>

Safety of Aged Care Residents a top priority for DHB - Canterbury DHB CEO David Meates says he and his staff have made the welfare of elderly people in residential care a top priority in the aftermath of last week’s earthquake. Click here for more>>

People must avoid beaches, rivers and other waterways - Canterbury District Health Board says people need to avoid Christchurch beaches because they are currently contaminated with untreated sewage. Click here for more>>


MARCH 1: 6:05pm - New Zealand Fire Service and New Zealand and international Urban Search and Rescue taskforce members together with other emergency service workers and contractors today joined all New Zealanders in observing the national two minutes silence. Click here for more>>

Cantabrians Take Up Government Support Package - The Government is assisting more than 10,000 people through its support package for Christchurch says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett: "Since announcing the package yesterday, applications have been flooding in from employers and workers who are relieved support is now available to help get them through the next few weeks,” says Ms Bennett. Click here for more>>

Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) would like to advise all customers the port’s core services are operational.

Pipers and Drummers from around New Zealand are using their musical talents to benefit those in need after last Tuesday’s earthquake in Christchurch.

With Federated Farmers ‘Farmy Army’ swelling in numbers, it can go looking for work that needs to be attended to around Christchurch. 'The ‘Farmy Army’ needs good homes and schools to help,” says Federated Farmers earthquake spokesperson.

3:45pm - State of National Emergency Extended - Civil Defence Minister John Carter has today extended the state of national emergency for a further seven days in the aftermath of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch last Tuesday. The state of national emergency in New Zealand was declared last Wednesday and is expected to continue for several more weeks, Mr Carter says. Click here for more>>

Additional UK Experts Arrive in NZ - Two highly experienced UK disaster victim identification (DVI) experts arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand, yesterday to help with the hard work of identifying victims of the devastating earthquake in the city last week. Click here for more>>

1:00pm At 12:51pm New Zealanders observed two minutes of silence as a mark of respect for those who have perished in the earthquake that struck Christchurch exactly one week ago today.

11:20am - Death Toll Rises To 154 - Civil Defence has confirmed the death toll in the Christchurch earthquake has now risen to 154 and is expected to increase further. 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.

Two Minutes' Silence At 12:51pm: Prime Minister John Key has asked that all of New Zealand observes two minutes’ silence for the victims of Canterbury’s devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake: “This may be New Zealand’s single most tragic event.

“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.” Click here for more>>

It has been one week since the 6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch and as we observe 2 minutes silence today our hearts go out to all of Christchurch, especially those who, like us, are still waiting for news of loved ones.

We are still waiting for news of our sister Donna (Manning) and holding onto hope that she will be returned to us. While we wait, we pray for strength, especially for our parents and Donna’s children, Elizabeth and Kent Manning. Click here for more>>

Police have announced that there will be a controlled felling shortly at the top of the PGC building in central Christchurch. This move is being taken due to safety concerns around the stability of the structure.

Young people trying to cope in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake are being urged to make use of Youthline's national network of phone and text counsellors. The Youthline Christchurch centre which is situated on Hereford Street has been badly damaged in the quake, but all calls and texts are being routed through to other centres around the country. Youthline national spokesperson Stephen Bell says it's times like these that youth need all the support they can get. Click here for more>>


UPDATE FEBRUARY 28 5:45pm - Financial commitment to rebuild Canterbury - The Government has reaffirmed its commitment to provide the financial resources necessary to rebuild Christchurch and the Canterbury economy, Finance Minister Bill English says.

"The earthquake has clearly dealt a considerable human and economic blow to Canterbury, and this will have a significant impact on the Government's finances and the wider New Zealand economy. Its effects will be felt for some years to come.

"But I'm confident that New Zealand will come through this. Certainly, the Government will provide the financial resources needed in both the short and longer term," Bill English says. Click here for more>>

4:30pm - New Zealand Defence images show how extensive the liquifaction phenomenon is around the great Christchurch region. Click here for more>>

Christchurch Earthquake Vigil Observance at Parliament on 1 March. A Christchurch Earthquake vigil observance will be held on the steps of Parliament at 12.30pm tomorrow, Tuesday 1 March, 2011. Two minutes silence will be observed throughout New Zealand at 12:51pm. Click here for more>>

The initial earthquake support package for employers and employees is available now and the first payments will be in bank accounts by Wednesday says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett: “There is a lot of uncertainty over whether jobs and businesses will continue in Christchurch, so this measure will help ensure people can pay the bills for the next few weeks,” says Ms Bennett. Click here for more>>

A total fire ban for Christchurch city (urban areas), has been put in place, effective immediately. The ban will continue until further notice. There continues to be a Restricted Fire Season in place for rural areas in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula. A Restricted Fire Season requires people seeking to light a fire gain a permit from their local council.

New Zealand Young Farmers is calling on its extensive network of past and present members to help clear up the mess caused by liquifaction, aid in the clean-up, and bring a little hope to the residents of Christchurch. Volunteers are being asked to donate their time on Wednesday March 2nd and Thursday March 3rd. Click here for more>>

New Zealand Fire Service safety notice Monday 28 February 2011 The public are advised that fire risks associated with the Christchurch earthquake may increase and that the necessary precautions should be taken. Click here for more>>

Approximately 200 households have now been evacuated in the Redcliffs - Clifton area near Sumner. These properties are mostly located below Clifton Terrace and include Kinsey Terrace, Tuawera Terrace to the bottom of Clifton Terrace, Moncks Bay Lane, Emily Lane to Cliff Street, Main Road to Nayland Street, Clifton Road, Aranoni Track, Mulligans Track, points south of Zigzag, and Hurst Seager Lane. Click here for more>>

Refugee trauma team to help Canterbury earthquake victims An Auckland based trauma team, which specialises in working with survivors of war or torture, has been called to Canterbury to help earthquake victims. Click here for more>>

1:00pm - New Zealand earthquake aftermath: the European Commission activates EU Civil Protection Mechanism - Upon New Zealand's request, the Civil Protection Mechanism of the European Union has been activated today. It will coordinate European assistance to New Zealand which suffered from a devastating earthquake on February 22. The 31 states that participate in the Mechanism have been informed about the needs on the ground and the Monitoring and Information Centre of the European Commission stands ready to streamline their offers of assistance. Click here for more>>

12:40pm - Christchurch has enough Midwives - NZ College Of Midwives says despite earlier reports calling for midwives to head to Christchurch, we want to assure everyone that there are enough midwives in Canterbury working with women and their families. Midwives throughout the country (and internationally) are rallying to help women who are leaving Christchurch to have their babies. Their midwifery colleagues who are left behind with no income, no homes and are away from family are also offering support and expertise. Click here for more>>

11:54am - The fire service says that the enormous rescue effort to assess and search buildings in the central city, in the hopes of finding signs of life, continues. Rescue teams remain optimistic but are realistic that as time goes by it becomes less possible that they will find survivors. Click here for more>>

11:31am - Immediate road closure - The main road in to Sumner from Cave Terrace to Nayland Street is now closed. This is due to rock-face assessment. To access Sumner, we advise the use of Evans Pass via Mount Pleasant Road and Summit Road.

11:15am - Red Cross appeals in New Zealand, Australia, Britain and Ireland - Red Cross nations around the world are raising money for and assisting people affected by the Christchurch earthquake.

New Zealand Red Cross, Australian Red Cross, British Red Cross and Irish Red Cross have each launched national appeals to raise desperately needed funds for the people of Christchurch. Click here for more>>

10:40am - The number of dead recovered from the earthquake zoe has risen to 148. Police have named two more people who have been confirmed as dead. Natasha Sarah Hadfield (38) from Kaiapoi, and Owen Morris Wright (40) from Lyttleton. Click here for more>>

Sunday, 800 Federated Farmers members and volunteers removed over 1,000 tonnes of debris caused by Tuesday's earthquake. What's more, a daily average of some 200,000 litres of water has been delivered by Bleeker Contracting and Raymond Hart into the city. Federated Farmers own 0800 FARMING line was kept busy taking over 300 enquiries as well. Christchurch clean up continues today (Monday) Click here for more>>

After several days of living in what felt like a lake of silt and water following the Christchurch earthquake, a New Zealand Police officer was greeted by an army of volunteers who came to clean up the mess. Click here for more>>

The central city of Christchurch remains cordoned off between the four Avenues (Bealey, Fitzgerald, Moorhouse and Rolleston). All emergency service personnel and contractors can access the city cordon only via Moorhouse Avenue and Montreal Street. Appropriate photo ID must be carried. Click here for more>>

KiwiRail is assessing resumption of scenic passenger trains operating from Christchurch before announcing a date for the restart of services. The TranzAlpine and TranzCoastal were suspended immediately following the earthquake in Christchurch on 22 February.

8:09pm Sunday - Brian Coker, the man who had his legs amputated while being rescued has given an account of his ordeal: "It had been a normal day. Earlier on I dropped Helen off at the airport. She was going to Palmerston North to visit relatives. Click here for more>>

"Just before 1pm I was leaving my first floor office in Perpetual Group to go to lunch. I was on the landing about to go down the main stairs when the earthquake hit. I hung on to the balustrade, the ceiling tiles started falling around me. I was swept off my feet when a concrete wall fell on me..." Click here for more>>

PM launches Christchurch Earthquake Appeal - Prime Minister John Key on Sunday launched the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, a global fundraiser for the recovery effort in the city and the Canterbury region: “It’s vital we reach as many people throughout the world as possible who want to help. This isn’t just New Zealand’s tragedy – the February 22 earthquake affected countless people internationally. Click here for more>>

Territorial soldiers from across the North Island have arrived in Christchurch today to contribute their muscle to the clean up process already underway in the suburbs. Click here for more>>

200,000 litres of water carried daily into Christchurch At a daily average of some 200,000 litres of water, over 600,000 litres have now been delivered by Bleeker Contracting and Raymond Hart since Thursday evening. Click here for more>>

Urban Search And Rescue (USAR) issued the following info:
• Tankers are now well-established in areas of high risk
• 10 command units are now in place to co-ordinate incident management
• There are fire crews at the three main sites in case of fire
• 11 crews now moving through the greater city area to assess public needs and deal with issues arising. 70% of the high priority areas (in particular the eastern suburbs) have now been covered.
• There have been five fires in the last 24 hours. Three of these were related to power being reinstated to homes and could have been prevented.
• We are urging the public to please take great care with electrical items, generators and portable cooking devices.
• The welfare of our staff is of prime importance and every measure is being taken to ensure their safety. Click here for more>>

Desperate and unsettling stories are emerging in the poorest communities of Christchurch. Residents of the Eastern suburbs, especially Avonside, are still without water, and contact with state aid services has been zero. Click here for more>>

Kiwi entrepreneur and philanthropist, Owen Glenn, has made a donation of $1 million to the Christchurch recovery effort through The Glenn Family Foundation. Click here for more>>

Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) - Rescue efforts continued today. USAR said it is a slow and painstaking process and the safety of everyone working on the sites is paramount.

International effort - All international teams will be deployed again today, at large-scale sites and USAR teams continue to assess buildings throughout the city centre.

Large-scale sites - At the Cathedral, slow and careful progress with removing debris has continued overnight, using appliances supplied by local contractors. Click here for more>>

Brian Coker, 52, who had both his legs amputated in Christchurch, is now in a stable condition in Waikato Hospital. His wife Helen Coker issued a statement thanking people who helped to save her husband: "I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in rescuing my husband Brian Coker from the Pyne Gould Building on Tuesday 23 February at about 7pm. Click here for more>>

8.30pm - Police meet with families as death toll hits 145 Click here for more>>

1:47 - More than 1400 New Zealand Defence Force personnel are now committed to the earthquake response efforts in Christchurch City . NZ Army personnel and their Singapore Armed Forces counterparts are continuing to provide the 24/7 cordon around the central city, with security patrols also in place in the suburbs of Bexley and Waltham . Engineers are still producing clean water for the public in the New Brighton area, and are manning a water distribution point in Lyttelton. Click here for more>>

Also, Emergency Payments to Cantabrians affected by the earthquake have topped one million dollars says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett. Click here for more>>

1:36pm - Singer Songwriter Melody Levi has dedicated a song to Christchurch in the wake of the devastating earthquake. Listen and watch her video by Clicking here>>

1:pm - Normal policing continues - With nearly 1200 officers now in Christchurch, Police have no problems responding to normal calls for service, says Canterbury District Commander, Superintendent Dave Cliff. Click here for more>>

12:41pm - Unstable Building Closes Cordon - Cordon access point closed due to an unstable building - The central city cordon access point at the Bealey Avenue/Montreal Street cordon has been temporarily closed and the Art Gallery cannot be accessed. Click here for more>>

12:35pm The Navy multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury will sail to Wellington from Lyttelton tomorrow to load up with disaster relief supplies for its namesake province. Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said that Canterbury will arrive in Wellington at approximately 6pm on Sunday and after refuelling will embark a wide range of supplies and equipment for the earthquake recovery effort. The cargo list is expected to include:

* a 28,000 litre fuel truck
* 29 4 x 4 vehicles
* six 20’ containers (including four refrigerated)
* eight pallets of water and Telecom equipment
* a front end loader.
* an Army Bailey bridge. Click here for more>>

Lyttleton Tunnel To Re-Open - Lyttelton Tunnel to re-open for local residents by mid-afternoon today The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is working to re-open the Lyttelton tunnel to local traffic by mid-afternoon today (Saturday 26 February).

12:11pm - Police Working With Victim's Families - In the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake, Police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade are working together to address the cultural needs of victims' families. Police Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Services (MPES) have 10 staff liaising with families from several countries who have arrived in Christchurch to be with their loved ones who have died or gone missing in the earthquake. Click here for more>>

(Image Above: New Zealand Defence engineers have set up equipment in New Brighton which is a reverse osmosis system that can produce potable water from saltwater sources. The water points have been in operation since Friday morning and members of the public have begun to receive fresh water.) Click here for more>>

- New Zealand Red Cross is concerned about the emergence of fraudulent emails and websites that are designed to take advantage of the public’s generosity toward the people of Christchurch. Click here for more>>

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs alerted the Red Cross to a scam email, directing people to a fake ‘Red Cross’ phishing website where people are asked for their credit card details.

“Red Cross and other agencies are working extremely hard to offer all the support we can to the people of Christchurch. Our recovery operation will be the largest in New Zealand Red Cross’s history and we’ll need all the financial support we can muster. It is disappointing and frustrating that scammers are trying to take advantage of the public’s generosity at this devastating time,” says New Zealand Red Cross’ Chief Executive John Ware. Click here for more>>

10:25 - Police have announced that the official death toll of people confirmed as dead is 123. Superintendent Dave Cliff says that number is expected to rise today. Falling rubble from the CTV and PGG buildings has delayed efforts to recover bodies from those sites. More than 200 people remain missing.

9:51am - Canterbury District Health Board's Chief Executive David Meates advises that Midwives are needed to assist with maternity care in Christchurch. If you are a midwife and are able to help please e mail Also, BOIL ALL WATER UNLESS IT’S BOTTLED - Public Health leaflets and hand-sanitisers are being distributed at water tanker depots and welfare centres. Also, a full list of doctor surgeries that are open has been released.. Click here for more>>

9:44am - Police want to reinforce that cordons and emergency tape need to be respected after two journalists were found standing in the rubble of a collapsed building. The pair were observed by police staff at a building on Papanui Road inside the emergency tape. They were asked to leave and did so, acknowledging that they knew they shouldn't have been there. Click here for more>>

9:30am - Message To Scoop:
Dear Sirs,

Deeply concerned about nurses trapped in CTV building. Nine Filipina nurses were on the 3rd floor and are trapped after collapse. Been in contact via mobile with family and apparently they are not able to be rescued for fear of the adjacent building collapsing. Contact now lost, presumably due to expired batteries. They were alive after the collapse, with some injuries.

Known names are Rhea Maye Sumalpong and Emmabelle Anoba.

They need help and anything you can do will be greatly appreciated.

Yours in hope,
Friends in Dubai

9:20am - Overnight Police released the names of two further confirmed victims of Tuesday's Christchurch earthquake. They are: Jeff Pelesa SANFT, age 32 of Christchurch, and, Andrew Christian Ross CRAIG, age 46, Christchurch.

Federated Farmers have been asked to call for skilled labour to start the clean up of Christchurch by hand so there is need to also bring shovels and wheel barrows. While specialised equipment is not needed yet, there is the space to park these at the A+P Showgrounds.

Key information for Saturday 26 February 2011:
Registrations: 6.30 – 8.00am
Location: A+P Showgrounds, Curletts Road, Christchurch
Equipment needed: Wheel barrows and shovels
Larger passenger vehicles including 4WD Trailers
Suitable clothing and personal protection equipment (eg gumboots essential with sunscreen, gloves, face masks etc))
Packed lunch and bottled water
Accommodation: Camping facilities are available on site (including showers and water),
People will have to be self sufficient for obvious reasons so tents, sleeping bags, toiletries, first aid kits are a must. Click here for more>>

6:24pm - Two significant aftershocks shook Christchurch minutes before 6pm. One was very strong, a Richter magnitude 3.3 shock but with a focal depth of only 1 kilometre. The other was a Richter magnitude 4.4 shock and felt widely throughout the greater Christchurch region.

5:49pm - Police are asking the large number of motorists heading into and out of Christchurch today and over the weekend to drive with care. National Manager Road Policing Superintendent Paula Rose says increased traffic volumes, combined with badly damaged roads have increased the risks. Click here for more>>

4:55pm - To assist bank customers in Christchurch, the location of operational ATMs in Christchurch can be found at these maps. The information has been put together from other sources of publicly available information, and may be subject to change from time to time. Please check with your bank's website as power and access can affect ATM operations.

4:40pm - Enough Auckland beds for now thanks! Aucklanders have unhesitatingly opened their homes to Christchurch evacuees and coordinators now believe they have sufficient offers of accommodation. The Mayor says since the request went out on Tuesday, more than 1700 people have called 0800 AUCKLAND and offered to host those displaced by the earthquake in their homes. Click here for more>>

4:30pm - In Paris on 1 March, world-leading New Zealand amphibious boat manufacturer Sealegs is auctioning off the first of its limited edition All Blacks series amphibious boats and is donating all profits to Plunket families and children in the Canterbury region. Click here for more>>

3:45pm - A nationwide call has been made for people to wear red and black on Friday, March 4, as a signal of solidarity for the people of Christchurch. Gold coin donations to the Red Cross. Click here for more>>

3:22pm - Health volunteers database set up for Canterbury - Health professionals volunteering to help in Christchurch are being encouraged to register through their District Health Board or through the National Health Co-ordination Centre (NHCC). Click here for more>>

The ANZ New Zealand 2011 Canterbury Earthquake Appeal now totals more than $1,086,000 This includes donations from members of the public to our ANZ and National Bank accounts, and also staff donations. Click here for more>>

3:07pm - BNZ has raised over $440,000 for their Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Appeal account in addition to the $1 million dollars the bank has pledged to help the people impacted by the Christchurch Earthquake. Customers, staff and the general public who want to help the people of Christchurch can make a donation at any BNZ store or online. Click here for more>>

3:00pm - Earthquake Appeal Concert this Sunday in Auckland - The concert will feature a stellar lineup including: Sola Rosa, King Kapisi, Homebrew, LA Mitchell, Anna Coddington, Coast, The Midnights, LatinAotearoa (Bobby Brazuka, Jennifer Zea & Isaac Aesili), Recloose, The Turnaround (Manuel Bundy, Cian, Submariner) & special guests. All involved - from performers to the venue - donating their services free of charge. Click here for more>>

2:55pm - Six hours following the Christchurch earthquake, one of the city's great characters died, aged 87. Trevor King was a longtime Kerridge Odeon employee and theatre manager, and for generations of Christchurch children he was known as Uncle Trevor. Click here for more>>

2:35pm - Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has told reporters that the National State of Emergency is expected to be in place for several weeks.

1:12pm - Public Information Update - A 90m cordon has been placed around the Hotel Grand Chancellor. Surveys show that the hotel has now stabilised, having not moved for two days.

Fuel - There is no need to stockpile fuel. The BP distribution terminal is open and fuel is being distributed to service stations that are open around the city.

Supermarkets -Supermarkets around the city are stocked and there is enough food.

Health and safety - In the first instance, residents are to ring their GP if they need medical attention. Seventy percent of GP surgeries in the city are now open, as are many city pharmacies. Click here for more>>

12:50pm - Geologists suspect there have been unrecognised fault lines beneath Canterbury. They say some of these faults might not have moved for many thousands of years, but had been reactivated as stresses in the earth’s crust had been redistributed since the September 2010 earthquake. Click here for more>>

12:34pm - (Pacific Scoop) Papua New Guinean Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has written to his New Zealand counterpart John Key, expressing deep sorrow and regret over the loss of lives and property in the disastrous earthquake that struck Christchurch on Tuesday. Click here for more>>

12: 25pm - Rescue teams say there are no signs of life inside the Christchurch Cathedral.

12:23pm - Christchurch Earthquake Local Community Radio Struggling - Low power local FM community radio stations in Christchurch are struggling to stay on the air and serve their local neighbourhoods with emergency and welfare support. Click here for more>>

12:13pm - Police reinforcements will arrive this afternoon from New South Wales. The contingent will assist New Zealand Police to ensure services are delivered to the greater Christchurch region while rescue and recovery efforts consume Police resources.

12:01pm - International assistance received - Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully today welcomed specialist personnel from China who arrived in New Zealand this morning to strengthen the rescue and recovery operation following the devastating earthquake. Click here for more>>

11:57am - Message from Christchurch Radio RDU - Hi RDU family! 35 years almost to the day this little station began broadcast in the UCSA building. We are now down but not out! Waiting for reports from University of Canterbury to see when power will be back onsite - then we will send taskforce DJ NO EGO to get our blessed broadcast up and running again. WE WILL RETURN! stay safe and look after each other. x RDU

11:34am: (BusinessDesk) – The New Zealand dollar fell near a six-month low on a trade-weighted basis as the 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch continues to take its toll, while a looming civil war in Libya has stoked a flight to so-called safe havens by investors. Click here for more>>

10:55am - Police say 113 bodies now held at the mortuary.

10: 45am - Urban Rescue and Recovery teams are working to retrieve bodies from inside the Christchurch Cathedral.

10:38am - Reports circulating that John Key admits Earthquake Commission Fund is empty. Key says he is confident New Zealand can afford to pay for the cost of the earthquake. Green Party is calling for a discussion on a levy to help pay costs.

10:20am - Age Concern New Zealand national president Liz Baxendine says the elderly need extra help: "People are looking out for one another as they did last time round but this time but I think more social support is needed because the emotional stress, physical harm and property damage experienced is much greater. " Click here for more>>

10:02am - The death toll from the Christchurch Earthquake is now 102 and this figure is still expected to rise.There have been no rescues of people alive in the rubble since 3pm on Wednesday. The list of people who are unaccounted for, and where there is significant concern that they are in the CBD, remains around 226.

An American Urban Search and Rescue Team has now arrived in New Zealand to join teams from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and China. A team from the UK is also en route and once they arrive there will be nearly 700 USAR teams and civil defence volunteers working on the rescue operation.

An Australian Army field community medical centre will be set up at Cowel Stadium today (Friday). It's a 75 bed hospital and will be utilised over the coming days. The field hospital arrived in a number of shipping containers and will be staffed by Australian clinicians including six emergency department doctors, 13 nurses, general surgery staff, orthopaedic staff, general trauma, anaesthetists and support staff.

Statistics Minister Maurice Williamson and Government Statistician Geoff Bascand today announced the 8 March 2011 Census will not be held. Mr Williamson said Mr Bascand had advised him the census could not be successfully completed because of the recent Canterbury earthquake.

Police have released the names of the first four confirmed victims of the Christchurch earthquake on Tuesday 22 February.

They are:
Joseph Tehau Pohio, age 40, of Christchurch
Jaime Robert McDowell Gilbert, age 22, of Christchurch
Jayden Harris, aged 9 months, of Christchurch
Baxter Gowland, aged 5 months of Christchurch.

No other names of deceased or missing persons are able to be released at the present time.

Teams of Salvation Army officers have been providing emotional support and referrals to mental health services to Cantabrians since the September 4 earthquake. Officers from Salvation Army centres across the country will bring the number to 50 psychosocial support workers in the region by tomorrow morning. The Salvation Army in Australia has officers experienced in civil defence emergencies on standby, ready to fly in to Christchurch. Click here for more>>

5:01pm - Foreign Minister Murray McCully confirmed that New Zealand has grave fears that foreign nationals may be among the fatalities from Christchurch’s devastating earthquake. Click here for more>>

4:49pm Government discusses business quake support - The Government has welcomed offers of help from New Zealand’s business community to the Christchurch earthquake recovery effort, Finance Minister Bill English says. Click here for more>>

4:23pm - The release of the names of missing people for whom Police have serious concerns following the Christchurch earthquake has been delayed. Canterbury District Commander Superintendent Dave Cliff will provide an update on progress with the lists at a media briefing at 6pm this evening at the Christchurch Art Gallery.

4:10pm - Queen Elizabeth has expressed her sympathy: "I have been utterly shocked by the news of another earthquake in Christchurch. Please convey my deep sympathy to the families and friends of those who have been killed; my thoughts are with all those who have been affected by this dreadful event. My thoughts are also with the emergency services and everyone who is assisting in the rescue efforts."

3:10pm - 55-strong UK Search and Rescue Team on its way to Christchurch. The advance team of an eventual 55-strong search and rescue team with 11 tonnes of equipment is scheduled to arrive in Christchurch at 4pm on Thursday 24 February. All other members of the team arrive on Friday 25 February.

2:37 - Telecom has partnered with the New Zealand Red Cross to supply the official txt-to-donate fundraising service for the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal. Users of all New Zealand mobile networks can text 4419 to make an automatic $3 donation to the Appeal.

Scoop invites readers to talk about the Christchurch earthquake on its new LIVE chat page.

2:05 - Police say there are up to 238 people still missing after the Christchurch earthquake and 76 people have been confirmed as dead. Police add that up to 120 bodies may be under rubble at the CTV Building site, also as reported earlier, Police confirm 22 bodies are inside the Christchurch Cathedral.

11:54 - Later this afternoon Police will be releasing some names of those identified who died in the Christchurch earthquake. Prime Minister John Key said the number will be small, detailing only the bodies of those identified and cleared by families.

11:30 - PM John Key has reallocated some Ministerial portfolio responsibilities, for the foreseeable future, to allow Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee to focus solely on overseeing earthquake recovery. Also: CTV-based language school, Kings Education has released a personnel list detailing the status of staff and students.

11:18am No signs of life in buildings searched this morning in Christchurch. USSAR teams have this morning investigated two reports of possible survivors in two buildings in central Christchurch but after careful searching, including using the search dogs and technical equipment, have found no evidence of life. The two buildings were in Gloucester St and Chancery Lane. USAR teams continue to search the central city using a grid system.

10:20am - Latest information suggests rescue teams failed to find anyone alive in the rubble at the Holy Cross chapel site.

9:54am - Information is emerging of a rescue effort at the Holy Cross Chapel after signs of life heard. However, Police have said no survivors found at the Christchurch Cathedral - 22 people suspected of having died there.

9:18am - Reports are emerging that a rescue effort is underway at one of the CBD buildings after signs of life were detected. Urban Search and Rescue teams are at the site.

8:00am - Recovery efforts resumed overnight at Christchurch's CTV Building site and more bodies were relocated to a morgue for identification. Police state that they believe that those who remain trapped inside that building will not be alive.

9:00pm - Police believe more than 100 people have died while trapped inside Christchurch's CTV building. Rescue efforts saved some, but hopes that others would be found alive proved to be in vane. Officially, 75 bodies have already been recovered and tonight lie at a makeshift mortuary at nearby Burnham Military Camp. 300 other people remain missing in the greater Christchurch area.

6:03pm - Police state that those left inside the collapsed CTV Building will not have been able to survive the ordeal. Inspector Dave Lawry said he was "100 percent" certain that those trapped inside the building were dead. Throughout last night firefighters battled a fire that raged inside the collapsed building, and today rescuers said no signs of life had been detected.

4:10PM - Police are urging people to stay off the streets around Christchurch's central area. Controllers have set up a curfew of sorts where anyone seen in the 'four avenues' CBD area after 6:30pm will be arrested.

Police are developing a makeshift mortuary at Burnham Military Camp near Christchurch. There, fingerprints and dental records will be taken of those bodies who remain unidentified.

2:45pm - Christchurch's tallest building the Hotel Grand Chancellor is listing on one side and is teetering on collapse. Rescue teams searching for people trapped under rubble in that area have been pulled back for their own safety. A two-block cordon has been set up.

EARLIER:Christchurch mayor has confirmed 75 bodies have been recovered from the rubble and another 300 people remain missing. Fifty five of those bodies have been identified and are currently being held at temporary morgues in the central business district.

The number is expected to rise significantly through today and this week.

The Prime Minister John Key has declared a national state of emergency.

Overnight around 130 to 140 people were rescued, some of those received only minor injuries, some without a scratch, but other survivors received significant injuries and in some cases amputations had to be performed to save some people.

The focus is on rescuing people who are still alive. The recovery of bodies will come after the rescue phase.

300 Police will be arriving from Australia's eastern seaboard states, that is on top of urban search and rescue teams that are on the way to help. That effort is being coordinated by New South Wales Police but includes personnel from other states.

Assistance from the United States is also on its way, and the EU and United Kingdom are also committing assistance.

Urban rescue teams and sniffer dogs have been identifying where people lay, and overnight tapping sounds were heard and text messages received that are helping rescue teams to locate where survivors are lying in the rubble.

It is believed over 100 people are still trapped.

Significant aftershocks are continuing to strike, clusters of quakes have been registering between 4 and over 5 magnitude. The aftershocks are expected to continue through this week and the months ahead.

The aftershocks make it difficult for rescue and recovery efforts where teams are navigating their way through destroyed buildings that are at risk of further collapse.

The region's infrastructure is in tatters. Gas, water, sewerage, is out and electricity (particularly the closer you get to the inner city) is unreliable.

LIVE Chat: Live Discussion On The
Christchurch Earthquake

ALSO: 6.3 Earthquake Hits Christchurch - Youtube Footage -
3News Video: Footage Of The Moment The Big Quake Struck ChCh

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