A powerful 6.3 earthquake has hit Christchurch for the second time in less than six months, causing scores of deaths and widespread destruction.
Sixty-five people are officially confirmed to have died in the 6.3-magnitude earthquake. Civil Defence expects that number to climb. Severe aftershocks are also being felt.
At this stage we have made contact with the majority of the Ray White network who we understand are safe. There has however been extensive damage to property.
Chairman of the Ray White Group, Brian White, said that “the news of the Canterbury earthquake was devastating for all those who live in the region” and went on to say that “the company will provide as much resources as required to assist the community of Canterbury and our Ray White members.”
Carey Smith, New Zealand Chief Executive, said that “It’s just a scene of utter devastation and it is a terribly sad day for the Canterbury community.” ” Our company will do its very best to support our extended Ray White member base and to assist in any way we can throughout the region.”
The quake was centered 10km south-east of Canterbury and struck at 12.51pm at a depth of 5km. A state of emergency has been declared and expected to last at least five days.
There are an unknown number of people trapped in collapsed buildings and search and rescue crews are frantically scouring rubble for survivors. Christchurch mayor Bob Parker believes it could be between 150 and 200. Roads, buildings, homes and core infrastructure have been damaged extensively.
Power supplies are out to about 70% of Christchurch. Emergency centres have been set up across Canterbury.
For the latest updates on the Canterbury earthquake please click for the official Goverment website