New Zealand Earthquake Update

Crumbled concrete, twisted metal and mounds of brick still lay scattered across Christchurch, New Zealand. About 250 buildings and 341 homes have been deemed unsafe by investigators. But amid the reports of devastation, the worse news is the rising death toll. According to the New Zealand Herald, the official number of deaths for the Christchurch earthquake has risen to 145, and more than 200 people remain missing.

Collapsed building after the earthquake

Today (Saturday, Feb 26 in New Zealand) there have been 16 earthquakes, ranging from 2.0 to 4.1 magnitude. And on Friday afternoon two violent aftershocks, measuring 4.4 and 3.3 sent more masonry crashing down, distressing the nerves of rescuers and survivors in Christchurch. On day 5 of the Christchurch quake, hope of finding more survivors in the rubble is fading.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reported that there were about 600 unreinforced masonry structures in Christchurch and that the majority of them suffered some damage during Tuesday’s quake. However, California has about 7,800 such buildings in high-seismic zones. A sizable quake on any of California’s known faults could cause major damage. Then there are all the unidentified faults in Southern California. The Christchurch quake occurred on a previously unidentified fault system.

February 25 2011 11:40 pm | Earthquakes

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