New Zealand quake toll reaches 160

March 2nd, 2011 - 1:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Christchurch, March 2 (IANS) The toll from New Zealand’s Christchurch earthquake has risen to 160, a media report said Wednesday.

According to the New Zealand Herald, the police have confirmed the latest toll at a press conference Wednesday.

Canterbury district commander Superintendent Dave Cliff said residents of 60 homes in the suburb of Sumner were evacuated Wednesday due to falling rocks.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, who visited the hard-hit suburbs of Sumner, Mt Pleasant and Redcliffs Wednesday, said that heat and wind had exacerbated the situation.

Russell Wood from the Fire Service said a large steel support structure had been secured to a wall in the ruined Christchurch Cathedral, where up to 22 people are believed to be trapped.

He said that the rescue teams may be able to start searching the cathedral during the night after clearing the rubble.

The families of those still missing in the devastated central business district had the opportunity to visit sites where people are believed to be trapped, the newspaper said quoting Cliff.

He said 250 foreign nationals and 150 New Zealanders went on a “very emotional” bus tour to see first-hand the devastation.

A 6.3 magnitude quake rocked Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city, Feb 22, which brought deaths and destructions.

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