The search for survivors of the earthquake in the New Zealand city of Christchurch continued today as families of the hundreds still missing braced themselves for bad news. The rescue effort was hampered as a series of aftershocks rocked the city.
Police in Christchurch said on Friday that there were 113 dead and more than 200 people missing, feared dead.
Although the rescue effort is still underway, international and local teams said that they have pulled nothing but bodies from the rubble of buildings for 48 hours.
Included in the 200 missing are the 120 people who were in the Canterbury TV building that collapsed in the Tuesday earthquake.
Police say it is unlikely that anyone in the building survived.
Rescue workers using dogs, sensitive listening equipment and cameras are searching for survivors in devastated Christchurch.
Entry to the city’s devastated downtown area is being prohibited by police and a 6pm curfew remains in place to prevent looting.
Today, the rescue effort was hampered by aftershocks which continue to shake the area, with at least six tremors felt in the city from 3.3 to 4.4 in magnitude. Tuesday’s earthquake registered 6.3.
There are also fears that the 26-storey Grand Chancellor Hotel could collapse at any moment.
We are still hopeful that there still may be people rescued but it’s getting less and less likely,” Civil Defence Minister John Carter told reporters.
So far, less than a dozen people have been identified by authorities.