New Zealand earthquake causes widespread damage

New Zealand's second largest city, Christchurch, has declared a state of emergency after being hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in which reportedly 65 people have died.

earthquake

80% of the town is without electricity and many buildings have been destroyed.

A national crisis centre has been established and some assessment teams were on their way to help, according to Elizabeth Byrs, spokesperson for the United Nations humanitarian agency (OCHA).

“Australia has already dispatched a team and is deploying another one, while the United States, Singapore and Japan who are part of an international emergency response team, each have a team on stand-by.”

Christchurch’s airport is currently open to military flights only but would soon be reopened for civil flights, says Byrs.

duration: 19″

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UN Radio Daily News Programme
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