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NZ quake city prays as death toll rises to 147

[ 2011-02-28 13:32]     字号 [] [] []  
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Grieving New Zealanders prayed in the earthquake-ravaged city of Christchurch on Sunday as rescuers pulled apart leveled buildings in their desperate search for survivors six days after the devastating tremor that killed 147 people.

Rescue teams from New Zealand and seven countries, including the United States, China, Japan, and Australia, scoured ruined buildings in the central city and suburban areas hardest hit by Tuesday's 6.3 tremor - but found only the dead.

"They can see bodies that they are trying to get out," police shift commander Russell Gibson said.

The dead include people from 20 nations, including dozens of students from Japan and China who were in Christchurch, one of New Zealand's most attractive cities, to learn English in view of the country's dramatic southern Alps.

The city's mayor clung to the hope that more would be found alive, even as aftershocks brought down masonry and sent rescue teams scrambling for safety.

"I will not stop hoping that we will find people alive in the damaged structures of our city until I am told by the police and the urban search and rescue teams that no such optimism can exist any longer," Bob Parker told reporters.

No survivors have been rescued since mid-afternoon on Wednesday. The number of missing remains at more than 200, but police have said it is likely that the number includes recovered bodies that have yet to be identified. In the central city, the painstaking search concentrated on a finance company office block, the city's landmark cathedral and a local television building, which housed an English language school.

Japanese, Chinese and English teams joined locals to pull apart the buildings, where floors pancaked on top of each other, brick by brick. As of Sunday, 23 Chinese nationals were still missing, according to Xinhua News Agency.


1. What is the latest death toll?

2. How many people are still missing?

3. What magnitude was the earthquake?


1. 147.

2. More than 200.

3. 6.3.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

NZ quake city prays as death toll rises to 147

About the broadcaster:

NZ quake city prays as death toll rises to 147

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.