Over 500 buildings damaged:
Curfew lifted in Christchurch
EW ZEALAND: A curfew in the central business district of New Zealand
South Island's largest city of Christchurch, following Saturday's
massive quake, was lifted Sunday. However, cordons were still in place
in some streets where crumbling buildings are off-limits. Police are
manning checkpoints around the city's center, and only residents and
hotel guests are being allowed through.
The cordons are in place to protect the public from falling rubble
and to prevent looting, police say. Engineers are now assessing the
stability of many of the inner city's buildings.
Several people were arrested on Sunday morning after trying to get
inside the area. About 80 policemen from Auckland flew to Christchurch
on Saturday to help maintain order.
Christchurch was still under a state of emergency following the
magnitude 7.1 earthquake Saturday.Civil Defence estimates that more than
500 buildings sustained damage. An assessment will begin on
Sunday.Central Christchurch streets are piled with rubble. Buildings and
infrastructure were damaged throughout the city and region.
The Christchurch City Council said in a statement that of the 500
damaged buildings, more than 90 were in the central city area.While
there had been damage to minor bridges, major ones had withstood the
quake. However, some roads had been closed due to liquefaction or
flooding.More than 240 residents left their damaged homes, taking
shelter at three welfare centers set up in the city on Saturday. The
centers would remain open as long as they were needed.
Civil Defence said people forced out of their homes because of quake
damage, should be prepared for the emergency to continue into next week
at least. Christchurch was still being shaken by aftershocks.