NZ quake damaged nearly 100,000 homes : PM

NZ Earth QuakeThe 7.1 strong quake that rattled New Zealand’s second largest city on Saturday has caused damages to an estimated 100,000 homes, according to New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

Mr Key’s comments came at a press conference today, where he also briefed about the newly set up Mayoral fund to address those who are not covered by social welfare. He said that the fund, boosted with $5 million from the government, will help public as well as banks.

The majority of the affected homes were from the Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri districts, with an estimated 100,000 out of 170,000 affected homes are likely to be beyond repair, according to Mr. Key. He also highlighted the importance of having an insurance cover in the wake of this major disaster.

State of emergency was extended until Wednesday and city workers were asked to stay at home as aftershocks were continued to be felt in the already battered city, causing increasing danger from falling pieces from already fragile structures. Bulldozers were seen bringing down unstable structures to prevent further misery. Over 70 aftershocks were reported after the quake hit Christchurch on Saturday, an indication that the impact is likely to linger for some more time.

Meantime a geology expert, Dr Mark Quigley of Canterbury University, has said that the earth quake has taken place on a new or previously unknown fault line. He says the earth underneath Christchurch moved as much as 11 Ft.

The previous notable earth quake to hit New Zealand was in 2009, where a 7.8 tremor was felt in the sparsely populated south Island. However the latest earth quake is a miracle as there were no causalities reported despite the widespread damage caused to properties and infrastructure.


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