Received from Greg Mossop, IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator:
The death toll stands at 75, dozens yet to be rescued from beneath buildingrubble, and hundreds of people still missing are still the desperate scene 24 hours after an earthquake struck the Christchurch area of New Zealand.
The massive rescue effort that now involves 300 rescuers boosted by urban experts from Australia has rescued 20 people so far and Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said a pocket of 15 had been found in the TV3 building, the heart of local television production.
Meantime under normal arrangements, the members of Amateur Radio Emergency Communication (AREC) were busy. Check out the NZART website under ?What and Who is AREC?. A report on the frequencies in use or activities was yet to be received.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said a State of Emergency continued and those in the affected areas needed to keep their resolve and good spirits as the whole country was right behind them. He acknowledged the support already
given and being offered from overseas.
The earthquake disaster bill of last September (7.1 at a depth of more than 30 metres) was put at $8 billion but the latest quake (6.3 and at a depth of just five kilometres) could be double that amount.
Christchurch and its surrounding areas account for 500,000 people, about half the population of the South Island of New Zealand.