10 Years on, New Zealand Remembers Christchurch Earthquake

The people of New Zealand are marking ten years since an earthquake struck its South Island city of Christchurch, killing 185 persons and injuring thousands more.

At 12:51 pm on February 22, 2011, the 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck close to Christchurch city at a depth of 5 km. Although not as strong as a magnitude 7.1 quake which hit the area less than six months earlier, its shallow depth and proximity to the city centre resulted in widespread damage.

Earlier today, Monday, hundreds of New Zealanders gathered at a memorial wall in Christchurch to observe a minute’s silence as flags flew at half-mast.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was time to look ahead with hope for the future of the country’s second-largest city.

“It’s been a hugely difficult decade for this city – at times I’m sure it’s felt impossible,” Mrs. Ardern said in a speech at the memorial.

“But as we look ahead to the coming decade, I see hope and energy and optimism, and I see Christchurch taking its rightful place amongst New Zealand’s best and brightest cities,” she added.

Some eighty-seven people who died in the quake were foreign nationals from countries including Australia, China, Japan and the US.

A recent Reuters report said the earthquake damaged thousands of buildings and homes in Christchurch, forcing the authorities to embark on reconstruction projects that continue a decade later.

Frcn, Abuja

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