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Tremors send families fleeing at Christchurch quake inquest

06-13-2011 14:16 BJT Special Report:6.3-magnitude quake hits New Zealand |

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, June 13 (Xinhua) -- A series of tremors Monday disrupted an inquest into the deaths of 116 people killed in the CTV building during the Feb. 22 earthquake in New Zealand's second city of Christchurch.

Dust rises after a second large 6.0 earthquake in Gloucester Street, Christchurch, New
Zealand, June 13, 2011. A 6-magnitude aftershock struck New Zealand South Island city
Christchurch on Monday afternoon, following a powerful magnitude 5.5 quake which rocked
the city earlier, the New Zealand Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science said. (Xinhua
Photo)

The coroner's inquest had just broken for lunch when a 5.5-magnitude shock truck at 1 p.m., and family members and media were evacuated from the venue.

A second major tremor measuring 6 on the Richter scale shook the city at 2:29 p.m..

The inquest had been hearing how 12 people inside The Clinic medical practice in the CTV building had died.

A legal representative for the families had asked Coroner Gordon Matenga for more information on why people were allowed back in the building following the Sept. 4 earthquake and Boxing Day aftershock last year.

Matenga said a lot of questions would remain unanswered until the Royal Commission of Inquiry later this year.

One victim who had worked at The Clinic had spoken of looking for a new job away from the CTV building because she was concerned about its stability, her husband told the inquest.

Maysoon Abbas was working on the fourth floor of the CTV building.

Maan Alkaisi said his wife used to say that if a truck passed by, "you can feel the building is shaking."

"This is what really hurt me. It was clear there was something wrong," he said.

The deaths of people at the Kings Language School and Canterbury Television will be examined Tuesday and Wednesday.

They were among at least 181 people believed to have died in the Feb. 22 quake.

At least 10 people were reported injured Monday, but no fatalities were reported after a series of quakes rocked New Zealand's second city of Christchurch Wednesday.

The government-run GeoNet recorded seven tremors between 12:29 p.m. and 3:38 p.m., with the most violent being a magnitude 6 tremor at a depth of 9 km, centered about 10 km southeast of the city, at 2:20 p.m..

The second worst was a magnitude 5.5 quake 11 km deep at 1 p.m., about 10 km east of the city.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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