Christchurch quake: More liquefaction than Sept
Friday 25 Feb 2011 12:29 a.m.
By 3news.co.nz staff
It has now been four days since the devastating Christchurch earthquake. This morning the official death toll rose above 100. It is certain to rise further, and as yet, only six names have been released to the public.
Scroll down for the latest news from Canterbury. Press F5 on your browser to refresh the page for the latest updates.
Speaking to 3 News this morning, Prime Minister John Key said authorities are very worried about the 228 missing.
He says the police have "done a very forensic job of working through the list so these are people we have every reason to believe have been caught up in this tragedy".
This morning the Government announced the cancellation of the census, which was due to be held on March 8.
10.45pm: Doctors are warning people caught up in the aftermath of the earthquake to be wary of what is called 'broken heart' syndrome.
It is something doctors picked up after last year's big quake, with more patients reporting chest pain and heart problems brought on by the trauma of losing people close to them, or the persistent aftershocks.
Authorities say they are already seeing more cases of 'broken heart' syndrome since Tuesday.
10.30pm: More than 100,000 tonnes of sand will have to be removed from Christchurch's eastern suburbs following Tuesday's shallow 6.3 earthquake.
The liquefaction is significantly worse than September's quake; about 30,000 tonnes of sand was removed from September 4. This time approximately 100,000 to 150,000 tonnes would need to be removed.
8:06pm: Thirteen Filipinos are believed to be among those trapped in the collapsed Canterbury TV (CTV) building in quake-ravaged Christchurch.
8:01pm: Watch the Campbell Live interview with a Kiwi surgeon, who led the team which performed a double bilateral amputation with a builder’s leatherman and hacksaw.
7:54pm: The first Super 15 match of the weekend between the Highlanders and the Chiefs started on a sombre note with a minute’s silence to remember the victims of Christchurch’s devastating earthquake. Watch video of the minute’s silence.
7:46pm: The Crusaders and Mid-Canterbury paid tribute to Philip McDonald today.
Crusaders chairman Murray Ellis today said Mr McDonald was not only a valued and experienced member of the franchise's Board, he was also a good friend and colleague to those he served with.
Mr McDonald was a Crusaders board member and former Mid-Canterbury chairman. He was inside the Pyne Gould Corporation building on the day of the earthquake.
7:39pm: The Government of Japan has donated $666,042 to the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal.
7:28pm: A 4.3 aftershock, 9 km deep has just rattled Christchurch. This is the fifth aftershock in less than two hours.
7:24pm: Seven Briscoes Group Ltd stores have been affected by the earthquake.
The company has Briscoes homeware stores at Salisbury Street, Northlands, Riccarton and Hornby, Rebel Sport stores at Riccarton and Columbo Street and a Living & Giving store at Riccarton.
The Briscoes homeware store at Hornby reopened today and Briscoes Northlands will reopen tomorrow. The remaining five stores remain closed pending engineers' inspections and completion of safety reports.
7:16pm: As some viewers may know, Mike McRoberts has a very personal interest in this story.
He lived in one of the suburbs in Christchurch, Linwood, and one particular street corner there has had a particularly hard time of it.
7:13pm: 594 patients have been admitted to Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department since the quake including 164 with serious injuries.
7:08pm: Wespac branches in Hornby Mall, Upper Riccarton and Papanui will all reopen from tomorrow. They will be open from 10am to 2pm.
7:06pm: There are reports that the old Christchurch Girls High building is about to collapse.
7:05pm: People in North Canterbury are opening their homes to the victims of Tuesday's Christchurch earthquake.
Waimakariri Mayor David Ayers said "a steady stream" of people from Christchurch have been inquiring about accommodation at a welfare centre set up at the Baptist Church in Rangiora, about 20 minutes north of Christchurch.
7:01pm: Virtually all TelstraClear's 180 cabinets servicing both residential and business customers in the affected area have had power restored to them.
"In effect this means our network is fully operational again, although some customers will not have full services due to the localised conditions of their houses and surrounds,” says TelstraClear CEO Dr Allan Freeth.
But it has been a slow, dirty job restoring power. Click here to view the full story.
6:55pm: A 3 News camera got some exclusive pictures in the night of the darker side a disaster can bring out. Watch the story.
6:50pm: Cory Jane’s jersey worn in last year's Super 14 and the boots worn when the Hurricanes played the Crusaders, are both going under the hammer to raise money for the earthquake appeal.
“I just wanted to do something whether it be small or what turns out from it, it just wanted to give my support and do what I can,” says Jane.
Click here for the full story.
6:45pm: Two more 3.2 aftershocks have rattled Christchurch. The first was at 6:18pm at a depth of 1km and the second was at 6:23pm at a depth of 8km.
6:35pm: About $50,000 has been raised through the 4419 text donation service which was started today.
Each text message makes an instant donation of $3 to the Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal.
6:21pm: Mitre 10 has started a Big Help campaign, with all funds raised going towards the Salvation Army Earthquake Appeal.
“Customers nationwide can donate online at www.mitre10mega.co.nz/bighelp/ or in-store and all donations will be matched by Mitre 10 dollar for dollar up to the first $50,000 dollars,” said Mitre 10 Chief Executive Officer John Hartmann.
6:12pm: A 3.3 aftershock just 1km deep hit 5 km of Diamond Harbour at 5:46pm.
6:10pm: This afternoon 323 Australian police officers arrived in Christchurch. They were met by Police Commissioner Howard Broad and Superintendent Dave Cliff and sworn in with New Zealand Police constabulary powers to serve with New Zealand colleagues on the streets of Christchurch.
The officers have come from three states - South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales - as well as the Australian Federal Police.
"The Australians will start their duties tonight and, as a result of their presence, we are able to boost further the number of police patrols throughout the city,” says Inspector Derek Erasmus, Christchurch City Area Commander.
6:06pm: A 4.4 aftershock hit within 5km of the city at 5:40pm this afternoon at a depth of 6km.
6:03pm: This afternoon's family meeting which was held at a school in the city went for two hours. Disaster Victim Identification specialists and the Coroner were able to answer several questions about the processes being used to identify victims and the release of bodies to loved ones. About 600 people attended the meeting.
5:58pm: Eight people were arrested last night for breaching the cordon around the city centre. Two men who were arrested last night appeared in court today charged with the theft of two generators. They were remanded in custody to reappear on March 28.
A building in Park Terrace has had further cordons placed around it and cordons are being moved.
5:57pm: Inspector Derek Erasmus, Christchurch city area commander says there is no change to the official death toll but two more names have been released. They are Geoff Polessa Santh, 32, and Andrew Christian Ross Craig, 46, both from Christchurch.
He says no further names of those who have died or people who have been reported missing are able to be released at this stage.
5:56pm: 950 portable toilets are on the way from the US.
Mr Parker says the Hotel Grand Chancellor is still unstable but there is no new developments.
The next media briefing will be at 9:30am tomorrow.
5:53pm: People whose properties who seem undamaged, can use their showers but need to use as little water as possible. Over 60 percent of the city now have water.
5:49pm: Operation shops has finished today. 10 red stickers have been issued, this means they will have to be closed.
The curfew hours – 6pm to 6am – will remain in place today.
5:43pm: At the media conference currently underway Mayor Bob Parker says today he got out into the community today, where 80 teams each with four people have been checking on residents and inspecting their houses.
“Being on the ground today and inspecting some areas … it is very clear that the scale of this (liquefaction) is huge.
“This is a magnitude above last time,” he says.
5:41pm: New Zealand Fire Service, Nathan Guy says ”The international presence in Christchurch is a powerful sign of the wide ranging support that has kindly been offered from overseas.”
5:39pm: Waikato based online retailer 1-day has announced their support for the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal with a 24-hour online Garage Sale to take place on Wednesday, March 2.
More than 20,000 items are available in the sale, with 30 percent of all sales going directly to the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal. 1-day has partnered with their freight providers Courier Post, who will be offering free freight on all orders placed in the Garage Sale.
5:35pm: Honda New Zealand through its local Dealership, Honda Cars Christchurch, has committed $100,000 to the Mayoral Fund.
5:31pm: Prime Minister John Key will visit Urban Search and Rescue HQ during his time in Christchurch before meeting with local families.
5:25pm: Police are asking the large number of motorists heading into and out of Christchurch today and over the weekend to drive with care.
National Manager Road Policing Superintendent Paula Rose says increased traffic volumes, combined with badly damaged roads have increased the risks.
5:18pm: Overall the Telecom network is up and working, all Telecom exchanges are operational with a combination of mains and generated power, as are the majority of mobile sites.
They recommend people in Christchurch continue to minimise the use of mobile phones, and use text messages instead of calls when possible to free up the network for emergency response workers.
260 payphones and 3 wifi hotspots at Telecom Riccarton Mall, Café Zero (Cashmere Rd), and the Westpac Centre (Addington) continue to be available for people in Christchurch to use for free.
5:16pm: Australia and New Zealand put their sporting rivalries aside today – if but for a minute.
Click here for the full story and video from VCA Ground in Nagpur of the cricket teams paying their respect to the quake victims.
5:12pm: There is no problem with supplies of medication to pharmacies in quake-ravaged Christchurch, a pharmaceutical supplier says.
5:09pm: Essential supplies are expected to start flowing through the port from Saturday 26 February.
Lyttleton Port Company is working with the NZ Transport Agency to ensure that the tunnel road is operational and KiwiRail have indicated they will be operational from Saturday.
5:06pm: Foodstuffs is supporting the Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal by providing shoppers with the opportunity to donate at the checkouts of its New World, PAK’nSAVE and Four Square stores nationwide.
5:04pm: The SPCA advises that all animals brought into the animal centre will be listed as found on www.trademe.co.nz or www.petsonthenet.co.nz and owners should make this their first port of call when looking for their lost pet.
4:58pm: The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is reminding local residents that the Lyttelton tunnel remains closed to private vehicles while the agency continues working to address risks from ongoing rockfalls on the tunnel.
4:53pm: The chief coroner is hopeful more victims will be released to their families in the next few days.
The coronial response team, pathologists and experts were working at temporary mortuaries at Christchurch Hospital and Burnham Military Camp to formally identify bodies, Chief Coroner Judge Neil MacLean said today.
Information that may help identify victims should be given to the Red Cross via phone or staff on-site, Judge MacLean said.
4:50pm: Auckland’s Diocesan School for Girls raised more than $14,000 for Christchurch’s earthquake victims today by holding a black and red mufti day.
4:42pm: Search and rescue workers have begun work in preparation for removing bodies from under piles of rubble at the Christchurch Cathedral.
Dean Peter Beck told NZPA an Urban Search and Rescue team had begun work at about 2pm to remove masonary from the top part of the cathedral's collapsed tower.
4:39pm: Kiwi Ultimate Fighter Championship's James Te-Huna is wearing his heart on his sleeve when he fights this weekend against Swedish fighter Alexander Gustafsson.
The first New Zealand fighter in the UFC has gone on record saying that any monies he receives from the fight will be donated to the NZ 2011 Earthquake appeal. Click here to read the full story.
4:36pm: Members of an animal search and rescue team from Massey University are heading to Christchurch to help with animal control.
There was no major animal emergency at the moment after Tuesday's destructive earthquake, but five people from the Palmerston North campus would help assess the needs of animals in the city, team leader Hayley Squance said.
4:31pm: Park Terrace is now completely closed off due to new road damage and the risk of further debris.
4:29pm: The Ministry of Health today released guidance on infant feeding during emergencies for parents and caregivers. Click here to view the website and for further advise please phone either PlunketLine (0800 933 922) or Healthline (0800 611 116).
4:26pm: Air New Zealand is continuing to add further capacity into and out of Christchurch to meet high demand, especially for people wishing to leave Christchurch.
For more information go to the Air New Zealand website.
4:22pm: Missing Microsoft US employee Paul Leathers and his partner have been located safe and sound.
4:19pm: Fonterra has delivered a 4,500 litre vat of water to Heathcote Valley school.
4:17pm: Alpine Springs, Lake Tekapo has postponed its concert ‘Under the Big Sky,’ which was scheduled to be held on Saturday, March 26.
Alpine Springs Director Karl Burtscher says many of the musicians and suppliers involved in the concert are from Christchurch and need to focus on the needs of their families and neighbourhoods - so the decision was taken to postpone.
4:14pm: NZCT (New Zealand Community Trust) Trustees have today confirmed it will contribute $5 million in additional funding for the Canterbury Community.
“On behalf of all NZCT venue operators across the country, we are very pleased to be able to provide this additional financial support in one of our nation’s darkest times,” says Chairman Peter Dale.
4:09pm: New Zealand Post will resume partial mail services to earthquake-affected areas in Christchurch from Tuesday 1 March while some PostShop/Kiwibank stores are already open.
New Zealand Post is offering free mail redirection for residential customers in quake-affected areas. Further details are available on www.nzpost.co.nz or call the customer service centre on 0800 501 501.
Courier services in parts of the quake-affected areas are set to resume next week as well. The Pace urgent courier service has been providing transportation for emergency services through the week, including carrying blood products, and radio equipment for Civil Defence.
4:04pm: The next inter-agency media briefing in relation to the Christchurch Earthquake is at 5.30pm tonight, at the Art Gallery, Christchurch.
4:01pm: Ethnic Affairs Minister Hekia Parata says the Government is doing all it can to support ethnic communities affected by the Christchurch earthquake.
“The Office of Ethnic Affairs is contacting ethnic organisations in Christchurch to let them know about specialist services available to their communities, such as Language Line,” says Ms Parata.
The Language Line - 0800 779 997 - provides a service to those people who speak little or no English and there are 41 languages available.
3:57pm: AXA New Zealand has set up a special team to help customers who have been affected by the Christchurch earthquake.
Policyholders who need to speak to AXA about making special payment arrangements, replacing lost policy documents or to make a claim should speak to their adviser or call us on 0800 275 292.
3:49pm: In Paris on March 1, boat manufacturer Sealegs is auctioning off the first of its limited edition All Blacks series amphibious boats and is donating all profits to Plunket families and children in the Canterbury region.
The boat is expected to sell for 50,000 – 60,000€ ($89,000-$107,000 NZD).
3:45pm: Auckland Mayor Len Brown says Aucklanders have unhesitatingly opened their homes to Christchurch evacuees and coordinators now believe they have sufficient offers of accommodation.
He says since the request went out on Tuesday, more than 1700 people have called 0800 AUCKLAND and offered to host those displaced by the earthquake in their homes.
“Christchurch needs a unified response from New Zealand. This is a phenomenal move of solidarity and support for our fellow Kiwis and visitors to our country. I thank all the willing Aucklanders for their rapid response,” says Mr Brown.
3:41pm: Click here to view a list of all Christchurch stores with operational EFTPOS.
3:38pm: The Christchurch City Council says the Cowles Stadium Welfare Centre was closed this afternoon.
A total of 170 people stayed at the centre last night. Sixty of those were relocated to Rangiora this afternoon. The remaining 110 were able to find accommodation independently.
The reason for the transfer to Rangiora was to protect the health and well-being of people staying there as the water and sewerage services were not considered reliable.
3:36pm: The Crusaders will play at least their next two "home" Super rugby games at Nelson's Trafalgar Park and train in North Canterbury in the wake of Christchurch's devastating earthquake.
AMI Stadium is expected to be off limits for the remainder of the tournament after cracks were discovered in the stands following Tuesday's deadly jolt and aftershocks.
3:33pm: A law change will need to take place in order for this year's census to be cancelled, Statistics New Zealand says.
Under the Statistics Act 1975, the census must be held sometime in 2011.
3:29pm: Save the Children is currently assessing how best to help the children and their families of Christchurch following Tuesday’s devastating earthquake.
“Save the Children has extensive international experience in helping children following such large scale disasters, including the Haiti earthquake, where we continue to work. We want to identify how best to do this in Christchurch in the days, weeks and months ahead,” says Liz Gibbs, CEO of Save the Children New Zealand.
3:24pm: It's cold and raining in Christchurch, if you need emergency repairs call EQC 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243).
3:21pm: Foodstuffs South Island would like to reassure both Christchurch and wider South Island residents that its supply chains are operating efficiently. Shipments of essential food and water, as well as stores’ everyday ranges, are flowing freely through delivery channels and into the distribution centres and supermarkets.
3:19pm: Health professionals volunteering to help in Christchurch are being are being encouraged to register through their District Health Board or through the National Health Co-ordination Centre (NHCC).
Health Minister Tony Ryall says, "The Ministry of Health is co-ordinating the volunteer responses with a national volunteers database.
3:16pm: The ANZ New Zealand 2011 Canterbury Earthquake Appeal now totals more than $1,086,000. People can continue to make donations to the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal either at an ANZ Branch (account number: 01-1839-0188939-00) or at The National Bank (account number: 06-0869-0548507-00).
3:12pm: More than 350 people taking refuge at one of Christchurch's welfare centres after Tuesday's devastating earthquake are being transported out of the city, amid health concerns.
A Christchurch City council spokesperson said the welfare centre at Cowles Stadium would close at 4pm due to concerns there could be an outbreak of measles or diarrhoea and worries about sanitation.
A Canterbury District Health Board spokeswoman said the 378 people at the welfare centre would be transported by bus to welfare centres in Rangiora and Rolleston.
3:07pm: People are being urged to help the response by contributing financially only - no donations of goods or services at this time. Click here to find out how you can donate.
3:01pm: Planning is underway for an official NZ Red Cross public cash collection in next week.
2:56pm: New Zealand Lotteries says it is completely understandable people want this weekend's $15 million Jackpot given to Christchurch earthquake victims, but it is not possible. Click here to read more.
2:51pm: BNZ has raised over $440,000 for their Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Appeal account in addition to the $1 million dollars the bank has pledged to help the people impacted by the Christchurch Earthquake.
Customers, staff and the general public who want to help the people of Christchurch can make a donation at any BNZ store or online;
BNZ Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Account: 02-0500-0982004-000
2:49pm: Inland Revenue will take account of the impact of this week’s huge Christchurch earthquake when dealing with the tax matters of individuals and businesses affected, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said today.
Inland Revenue will launch an advertising campaign in Christchurch this weekend to assure people and businesses that it will take a realistic approach to their plight. It has also updated its website, www.ird.govt.nz, with earthquake-related advice and information.
2:46pm: The strength of the earthquake which left much of Christchurch in rubble on Tuesday may have been magnified as it reflected off hard volcanic rock below its epicentre, an earthquake geologist says. Click here to read more.
2:42pm: People in the affected areas should expect aftershocks. Each time one is felt, drop, cover, and hold on. For more information go to www.civildefence.govt.nz.
2:39pm: Federated Farmers is warning members to avoid replying to emails from internet earthquake scammer “James McCoy” and not to hand out credit card details.
The email has targeted people through the work wanted section of the Federation’s www.ruraljobs.co.nz website.
If you have had any contact with a James or Marcus McCoy who is asking for credit card details, passport photos or donations please contact the Ministry’s Scamwatch service and then delete the email.
2:36pm: Canterbury SPCA website is currently down - please use RNZSPCA website for SPCA info and to donate.
2:31pm: The North Harbour Stadium Trust have announced they will donate all profits from the pre-season, Vodafone Warriors v Manly Sea Eagles match this Saturday to the Red Cross Appeal for Christchurch.
Both teams will wear black armbands with one minutes silence before kick-off. Sir Peter and Lady Janice Leitch have generously kick-started the campaign with a $20,000 contribution.
2:25pm - A 90m cordon has been placed around the Hotel Grand Chancellor. Surveys show that the hotel has now stabilised, having not moved for two days.
2:18pm: NASA has released satellite images of Christchurch taken after Tuesday's quake, which you can view here http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-061.
2:20pm: ProCare, an Auckland-based primary care health care organisation, is offering medical advice and mental health support to those affected by this week’s earthquake via its 24-hour telephone nurse triage centre, Homeline Medical service (HML) - 09) 357-7770.
HML handled over 2,800 calls yesterday, including. The service offered members of the public in Christchurch primary medical advice over the phone in their own homes, or where necessary, organised ambulance services or redirected them to the nearest Christchurch–based medical service.
2:17pm: St John is supporting over 400 people at the five welfare centres - Burnside, Cowles Stadium, Pioneer Stadium, Rangiora and Rolleston.
There are also 131 additional St John staff on the ground in Christchurch, who have come from around New Zealand to assist. This is in addition to the total of 135 Christchurch operational staff.
2:14pm: Greens co-leader Russel Norman has called for the introduction of a temporary levy on higher income earners to pay to rebuild Christchurch after the earthquake.
It would amount to one percent of the salary of a person earning $48,000, and two percent for those earning over $70,000 thousand a year.
2:10pm: New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully has told diplomats in earthquake-ravaged Christchurch that over the few days many overseas families will have to be told "very bad news" about the fate of loved ones. Many foreign students are among the 113 dead or the many more that are unaccounted for.
2:04pm – To find locations of the Telecom free Christchurch payphones go to http://eq.org.nz/ and look under Services available / Public phones.
2:01pm: Fisher & Paykel Appliances has set up community laundries in select locations and community centres across Christchurch. There are currently two sites with laundry facilities available to the public. The plan is to have a number of sites operational at locations around the city.
“We are working with Civil Defence to identify more locations and will make this information publicly available on our website www.fp.co.nz in a dedicated area on our home page.”
1:53pm: As at 10am, 4,000 people affected by the Christchurch earthquake have received financial assistance says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.
In the last three days around $700,000 has been paid out in Civil Defence payments for essential items such as food, clothing and bedding.
1:49pm: The arrival of specialised rescue experts from China this morning brings the number of foreign aid workers to quake-damaged Christchurch to 350 from seven nations says Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.
1:45pm: Mr Brownlee says the national state of emergency will continue for some weeks.
1:37pm: Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee says up to 50 percent of Christchurch now has portable drinking water.
1:35pm: Pharmacies are starting to run out of medication and supplies.
Thousands of people have required medical treatment since Tuesday's devastating 6.3 magnitude tremor.
The warehouse of one Christchurch medicine supplier had not yet reopened since the quake while the other was only able to provide limited services, community pharmacist Jacqui Lawson told New Zealand Doctor magazine.
Of more than 120 pharmacies throughout Christchurch, 80 were now open.
1:30pm: Two men charged with stealing three emergency generators a day after the Christchurch earthquake face a month behind bars after a special Christchurch District Court sitting this morning to deal with criminal cases in the wake of the quake.
Jed Wilson-Calver, 22, unemployed, and Owen Anthony Jackson, a 23-year-old fisherman, offered to leave the city immediately if granted bail, but Judge Michael Crosbie refused, remanding them in custody until March 28, Christchurch Court News website reported.
Judge Crosbie told them: "Those who burgle, loot, steal, or impersonate officials at this time demonstrate that they are capable of anything."
1:05pm: NZ Post is grieving for at least one staff member with several others unaccounted for following the earthquake.
A spokesman for the company today confirmed one of its employees had died and others were missing, but declined to give any specific details.
1:03pm: Telecom staff are continuing to restore phone lines and says the state of its network improved overnight.
The company has 60 generators providing backup power to network sites still without mains power.
So far more than 3000 analogue phones have been collected and were being made ready for distribution to victims of the quake. The "old fashion phones" don't require electricity, and Telecom is asking people to drop any spares to Telecom stores during retail opening hours.
More than 20,000 were made from 260 free Telecom payphones across Christchurch in the days after the quake.
1:00pm: There have been no reports of significant animal injuries in the quake. A specialist team from Massey University in Palmerston North have been on standby to provide emergency care for animals if needed, but have not yet been required.
12:50pm: A 90m cordon has been placed around the Hotel Grand Chancellor. Surveys show that the hotel has now stabilised, having not moved for two days. Regular measurements of its movements are being monitored by the Department of Building and Housing.
12:45pm: The country's musicians and songwriters are doing what they can to help Christchurch. On Amplifier.co.nz, several artists have made tracks free to download, with any voluntary payments made going to the recovery effort. Artists contributing include Trinity Roots and the Parachute Band. At Musichype.com, a measly $5 nets you 60 songs (and counting – more are being added all the time), with all proceeds going to Christchurch. There are songs from bands and singers like Clap Clap Riot, King Kapisi, Salmonella Dub and Teacups.
12:40pm: A website Christchurch Recovery Map has gone live, with details on services, damage, hazards, supplies, etc all in a handy interactive map. If you're in the region, you can check it out here – highly recommended.
3 News reporter Kloe Palmer has the latest from the ground in Christchurch – watch her live cross here.
12:15pm: A camera lowered into the rubble at the Christchurch Cathedral has detected no signs of life, according to a stuff.co.nz report.
"We put a camera in before but there was nothing - no sound, nothing," an unnamed rescuer is quoted as saying.
At least 22 people are believed to be buried there.
Also, there have been no reports of significant animal injuries, according to an animal search and rescue team, reports NZPA.
12pm: Australians can now donate to the quake appeal safe in the knowledge they'll be able to claim tax deductions.
“There has been a tremendous amount of support flowing between our two countries in what has been a string of natural disasters on both sides of the Tasman in recent months," says Revenue Minister Peter Dunne.
“It is very gratifying to see that the Australian Government has ensured that Australian taxpayers will now be able to claim an income tax deduction for donations to the relief effort in Christchurch,” he said.
A full list of approved donee organisations can be found at www.ird.govt.nz/donee-organisations/
11:50am: ANZ and the National Bank say they have received more than $700,000 in donations from staff and the public so far. Donations can be made to account 01-1839-0188939-00 (ANZ) or 06-0869-0548507-00 (National). Click here for more ways to donate.
Telecom says over 20,000 calls have been made from its payphones since making them free to use across the city.
11:45am: An email scam is doing the rounds, pretending to be collecting money for the Australian Red Cross. It is not obviously a scam, due to its professional look and lack of bad spelling, but the link provided is not that of the Red Cross – it takes the web user to an address in Austria, which looks like the NZ Red Cross site but is full of spelling mistakes and bad grammar.
11:40am: Waimata School in the Bay of Plenty raised $232 for medical supplies – check out this picture they sent to us.
11:35am: Labour MP Raymond Huo says friends have told him there are at least 35 Chinese students missing at the CTV building language school.
"For the past three nights, friends and family of the students have kept a vigil by the building, digging non-stop to try and recover anyone who is trapped," he wrote on the party's Red Alert blog.
"This Saturday there will be another fundraising concert being held in the Botany town square from 2:30pm," says Mr Huo. "This is being organised by the Chinese New Settlers Services Trust together with others. Our candidate for the Botany by-election Michael Wood will join me – everyone is welcome to attend."
11:30am: Another aftershock – 11:15am, 3.1, 10km southwest of the city.
The Dunedin City Council has set up an earthquake relief page – check it out here.
11:10am: Dozens of student volunteers have arrived in the suburb of Burwood to help in the Christchurch clean-up.
The teams have been armed with shovels, and will begin the mammoth task of clearing silt from houses.
Burwood has suffered massive liquefaction. The area is without power or water, and several roads are closed or badly damaged.
Newstalk ZB reports "a lot of intensive care patients [have been] transferred to Auckland, Waikato and Wellington".
11:00am: Director of Civil Defence John Hamilton says Christchurch is in no danger of running out of fuel or food. The mayor says underground electricity cables in the east of the city will be replaced with overhead cables.
Traffic has become a problem, with people needlessly taking to the streets in vehicles.
"Congestion… is slowing down delivery of services to the central city," says Supt Dave Cliff. "It's frankly stupid and ridiculous to try to get through cordon. They could endanger lives of people who will have to rescue them."
10:55am: Supt Dave Cliff says the confirmed death toll is now 113.
10:50am: Mayor Bob Parker confirms at least one of the missing people is a Christchurch City Council employee.
10:42am: Mayor Bob Parker says the iconic ChristChurch Cathedral will be rise again. He says said the cathedral was a stunning and symbolic building that would be rebuilt.
Up to 22 people are believed to be buried in the rubble.
10:40am: More companies have joined the #redandblack movement on Twitter. ASB Bank, Vodafone, Telecom and AlcatelLucent have all changed their avatars, and the Sky Tower itself was bathed in red last night.
10:35am: A meeting to discuss rules on media reporting of suicide has been postponed.
“We will be looking to reschedule the meeting, hopefully within the next month," says Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne.
Several participants would be unable to make the meeting because of the quake.
SBS Bank says its Papanui and Riccarton branches will be open from Monday. The Manchester St and Ferryhead branches remain closed for now.
10:30am: The NZ Historic Places Trust has started discussions over what to do in the wake of Tuesday's quake.
“Clearly damage to landmark buildings such as the Provincial Chambers, The Press building, the Arts Centre, the Basilica, and the Anglican church in Cathedral Square are significant," says chief executive Bruce Chapman.
“These buildings are much-loved, iconic landmarks that helped to tell Christchurch’s story and have made the city the special place that it is and what locals and visitors readily identify with."
Mr Chapman believed many people will want to have their say, once the rescue and recovery work is done.
The Christchurch City Council says if you have mains water connected, it should be okay to use the toilet – but to stop if there any signs of blockage or overflow.
10:25am: BNZ Bank is holding BBQs in its Nelson and Ashburton branches today from 11am, according to the company's Twitter feed. All proceeds to the quake appeal.
There will also be a donation collection at Sola Rosa's Zoo Music gig this Saturday.
10:20am: Newstalk ZB reports that "officials believe they'll be able to have Lyttleton Port partly operational from tomorrow".
10:15am: Paint store Resene has teamed up with the Salvation Army to deliver canned food to Christchurch. Cans can be dropped into any Resene ColourShop – click here for a list of locations.
Another aftershock – this one 3.1, 5km from Lyttleton, at around 10:05am.
10:10am: The Canterbury District Health Board says so far there are no signs of a gastroenteritis outbreak.
There's concern about the threat of a virus because 50 percent of the city is without water or a working sewage system.
Free hand sanitiser will be available to people at the city's water collection points.
10:02am: The Govt has confirmed the census has been cancelled.
“This is not the time to go door to door asking New Zealanders for information when they’re dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake,” saysStatistics Minister Maurice Williamson.
“It’s unthinkable that we would ask this of people. It would be an unfair burden and distraction at a time when they are grieving.”
Govt statistician Geoff Bascand says Statistics NZ will be investigating the "feasibility of alternative options".
The census has been cancelled only twice before – in 1931, during the Great Depression, and 1941, during World War II.
10:00am: Tomizone is supplying free Wi-Fi across the city, for at least the next week. Hotspots where it is available can be found on their website.
9:56am: Engineers will today start working to remove bodies from the Christchurch Cathedral, after its spire collapsed. Up to 22 people are believed to have been buried inside.
The work will be "delicate, difficult and likely to take quite some time", a spokesman told NZPA.
9:35am: 3 News political reporter Patrick Gower says the Govt is going to postpone the census, which was due to be held in the coming weeks.
9:30am: There have been calls for NZ Lotteries to donate this week's jackpots to the quake appeal. On the official Lotto Twitter feed, they said today: "We are looking at all the good suggestions and are working very hard to see what is legally poss for us to do."
As tickets to this weekend's draw have already been sold, it may not be possible to cancel the draw.
"Like all NZers we would love to help out, but we have already sold lots of tkts this week so are obligated to run a draw on Sat," NZ Lotteries tweeted yesterday. "Most of our big winners are very generous to charities."
9:25am: Tweet from 3 News reporter Melissa Davies, in the UK: Prince Charles writes in Chch Earthquake condolence book: "With my deepest possible sympathy to the people of NZ at such a time of tragedy"
9:20am: Buskers in Auckland will be doing their bit today, gathering at Aotea Square from 11:30am. They've got a Facebook event set up here.
Telecom, Vodafone and 2 degrees, along with all major New Zealand media have partnered with the NZ Red Cross to supply the official txt-to-donate fundraising service for the NZ Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal.
Users these New Zealand mobile networks can text 4419 to make an automatic $3 donation to the appeal.
New Zealanders can also include a message of support for the people of Canterbury when texting.
People within the Canterbury region should continue to conserve their phones for emergency purposes only.
A small aftershock shook the region this morning around 8:51am, measuring 3.4.
9:15am: Prime Minister John Key says authorities are very worried about 228 missing people in Christchurch.
He says the police have "done a very forensic job of working through the list so these are people we have every reason to believe have been caught up in this tragedy".
Mr Key was going down to Wellington to work on a short and long term package of assistance for people.
He said 50,000 people work inside the cordoned off area and are unable to go to work.
9:05am: Here are the latest pics from Christchurch, showing how the city looks four days on.
All elective surgery at Christchurch Hospital has been postponed till at least March 7.
8:55am: An increase in the EQC levy is on the cards, though the Government hopes to avoid it.
"You do what you have to do," says Prime Minister John Key. "If that was what was required, if that was what was in the best interest of New Zealand, for us to feel confident we could meet any future claims against EQC I'd do it."
Treasury advice will be sought on the matter.
8:30am: The Government says it will name and shame Christchurch retailers and other businesses that are guilty of price gouging in the days after the city's catastrophic earthquake.
The reports of price gouging have infuriated Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.
It may not be illegal to charge more for essential items, but Mr Brownlee says it is morally reprehensible and disgusting.
8:27am: The British Foreign Office has named one of two Britons killed in New Zealand earthquake as Gregory Tobin, according to the BBC. Mr Tobin is the fifth name confirmed by official sources.
8:25am: 3 News has compiled a list of open banks and working ATMs, as of 8am this morning.
Three hundred people spent last night at the Burnside Welfare Centre, down from 400 the night before.
The Government is not ruling out a nationwide tax to help fund the rebuilding of Christchurch, but will not make any decisions soon, says Prime Minister John Key.
He said the lack of economic activity in Christchurch would be a drag on the national economy but the country could cope.
"We've got the financial capacity to deal with the earthquake," he told Radio New Zealand.
Treasury Secretary John Whitehead was travelling to Christchurch today. Mr Key said he would consider a nationwide tax if it was the best way to pay for the rebuild.
8:10pm: The Wizard of New Zealand has told Newstalk ZB he is leaving Christchurch, perhaps to Australia or to Oamaru.
8:00am: Users of social networking site Twitter are showing their support for Christchurch by changing their avatars to red and black, the colours of their local rugby sides. Telecom have joined in, changing their normal blue-on-white asterisk logo to red-on-black.
Search teams have checked 95 percent of the CBD for signs of life and have found nothing. They are now concentrating on two main sites - CTV and PGC.
7:55am: Minister for Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlee says Christchurch is a young city, can will be rebuilt.
"In New Zealand it's hard to pick a place where the sort of instant thing that happened here may not be repeated."
The Australian Army is working this morning to establish a field medical centre in Cowles Stadium. The 75-bed hospital will go some way towards replacing 150 Canterbury Hospital beds put out of action by the quake.
All the gear needed to set up the hospital arrived in shipping containers. With it came six emergency department doctors, 13 nurses, surgery staff and anaesthetists.
Cowles Stadium also houses one of five welfare centres in the city.
7:40am: The toll has been bumped back up to 103, 3 News can confirm.
Petrol companies are assuring people there is no need to stockpile fuel, as there is no shortage. "In some cases the queues are a kilometre long at service stations which are not even open....so there is some irrational behaviour out there," a Shell spokesman told Radio New Zealand.
7:10am: The National Crisis Management Centre says on its official Twitter feed that the death toll is 102, "contrary to some reports".
7:05am: Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says almost everyone will know someone who had died, and people should cut each other some slack.
"People here are very stressed, very tired and very scared and we need to bear that in mind in our transactions as human beings today," he told 3 News this morning.
6:55am: Supt Russell Gibson, into the 13th hour of his shift, says there are serious concerns of landslides at Redcliffs, and streets have been evacuated.
6:50am: Civil Defence Minister John Carter spoke to reporters this morning – watch the complete video here.
6:30am: The official toll is now 103, with approximately 200 people unaccounted for.
Police say the number of missing is changing by the hour as they account for some of them and get new reports of other people who have not been heard from.
A special police team worked through the night with the Red Cross, making inquiries throughout New Zealand and across the world.
One of the babies named last night as among the first officially identified victims was born just two weeks after September's quake.
Baxtor Gowland was five months old. A second baby, eight-month-old Jayden Harris, also died.
6:20am: Seventy people have so far been pulled out of the rubble alive, according to Civil Defence Minister John Carter.
But hope of finding anyone else still alive is "getting less and less likely", he says.
The death toll has now been upped to 103.
6:15am: Police are warning residents of Christchurch to be wary of scammers posing as EQC staff, going door-to-door asking about electronic equipment.
"Whether the goal for these people is for criminal reasons or out of ghoulish curiosity it is not acceptable," says Supt Russell Gibson. "Even if these people are trying to find a means to be helpful in some way, it may be well intended but it is misguided. We have not given up hope of finding people alive which means time is of the essence and the actions of these individuals are unhelpful to the search and rescue process."
Any officials working in Christchurch should be carrying official identification and will not be offended if they are asked to show their ID.
6:10am: As many as 22 are thought to be dead in the Christchurch Cathedral, and up to 122 in the CTV building.
The Christchurch City Mission has been closed, leaving 200 weekly drug and alcohol-addicted clients without treatment for at least this week.
The mission also distributed 1400 weekly food-parcels to people struggling to feed their families from their Hereford St office.
City Missioner Michael Gorman says they hope to re-open their service outside the city in the coming days.
Mr Gorman says a large number of redundancies in the region in the coming months will force more people to seek help at the mission.
5:55am: An American Urban Search and Rescue Team has arrived to join teams from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and China. A team from the UK is also on its way, and once they arrive there will be "nearly 700 USAR teams and civil defence volunteers working on the rescue operation", according to police.
5:50am: There will be a minute's silence before all of the weekend's remaining Super 15 rugby matches and players will wear black armbands to acknowledge the victims of the deadly Christchurch earthquake.
The SANZAR rugby nations of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa have also agreed to fly flags at half mast, and promote the Red Cross charity for quake donations.
The Crusaders team and entourage have the weekend off to be with their families, after the cancellation of tomorrow's game in Wellington.
5:45am: New Scientist magazine has published an article describing exactly what is causing the recent quakes in the Canterbury region. Seismologist Gary Gibson of the University of Melbourne says the tremors are "temporary, albeit harrowing", and that "an earthquake of this magnitude does a good job of releasing stress".