22 Feb '11, 4am

State of emergency declared in Christchurch

State of emergency declared in Christchurch

WELLINGTON: Christchurch's mayor declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, saying it was a "black day" for the earthquake-hit New Zealand city. "Everybody needs to understand that this is going to be a very black day for this severely shaken city," mayor Bob Parker told Radio New Zealand. Parker said the damage caused by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake was "immense" and he was thrown to the ground in the council building when the tremor hit. "I looked out over the city once I got up and I could see clouds of dust from buildings collapsing. I could hear screams from the streets," he said. "I got down onto the street and there were scenes of great confusion, a lot of upset people, a lot of people crying." Parker said the emergency declaration meant the centre of the city would be cordoned off for the safety of the public and to help emergency crews go about their work.

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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