New Zealand: large areas were devastated by earthquake

By Anda Robescu

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The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck at midnight on Nov 15, followed by a replica of 6.3 degrees magnitude on Monday afternoon, has caused total devastation in some areas. In these places the reconstruction will take months and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, declared Prime Minister John Key, quoted by DPA.

GeoNet earthquake monitoring agency informs that the replica that occurred on Monday afternoon at 1:34 p.m. local time, had its epicenter at a depth of 35 km, the area in which the first earthquake had been produced. Prime Minister John Key traveled by helicopter on the affected areas on the east coast of the South Island and was socked by the scenes of devastation, as there will be needed many months for reconstruction, with cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.

He described landslips in the area as “just horrendous”. In a statement seen by Reuters, Key said of the likely damage bill: “You’ve got to believe it’s in the billions of dollars to resolve.”

Powerlines and telecommunications were down, with huge cracks in roads, land slips and other damage to infrastructure making it hard to reach the worst-affected areas.

Hundreds of aftershocks, the strongest a 6.2 quake at about 1.45 p.m. local time (0045 GMT), rattled the South Pacific country, fraying nerves in an area where memories of a deadly 2011 quake are still fresh. Christchurch, the largest city on New Zealand’s ruggedly beautiful South Island, is still recovering from the 6.3 quake in 2011 that killed 185 people.

New Zealand’s Civil Defense declared a state of emergency for the Kaikoura region, centered on a tourist town about 150 km (90 miles) northeast of Christchurch, soon after Monday’s large aftershock. – Source: www.travelwires.com

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