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One week on: New Zealand remembers

03-01-2011 13:29 BJT Special Report:6.3-magnitude quake hits New Zealand |

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New Zealand has held a two-minute silence to mourn the victims of the devastating earthquake which struck the city of Christchurch one week ago.

The country's Prime Minister, John Key, promised to rebuild the city, unveiling the first in a series of financial assistance packages for residents affected by the quake.

Prime Minister John Key was in Christchurch to pay his respects to the victims of last week's quake. He urged all New Zealanders join the commemoration.

Rescuers continue to sift through the rubble of collapsed buildings, as millions of people across the country observed the silence.

One week on from the disaster, police say a substantial number of people remain missing. Hopes of finding any more alive are fading rapidly, and the death toll is expected to rise.

Dave Cliff, New Zealand Police, said, "The number of deceased remains unchanged at 154. There were three bodies recovered from the PGC building overnight. We do still expect that the number to rise."

Earlier the prime minister announced the first in a series of financial aid measures, aimed at helping residents of the stricken city. It includes a subsidy package for employers, worth 120 million New Zealand dollars, which will help pay the salaries of some 50-thousand people unable to go to work.

John Key vowed that the quake-hit city would be rebuilt, and building standards would be upgraded, to withstand major earthquakes.

New Zealand has held a two-minute silence to mourn the victims of the devastating
earthquake which struck the city of Christchurch one week ago.





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