Christchurch rocked but airport still rolling

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C.C Aftershocks this morning have continued to rock Christchurch, as the city lies disrupted following Saturday morning’s earthquake.New Zealand’s second-largest city lies in tatters after the earthquake, which measured 7.1 on the Richter scale, forced authorities to impose a curfew on 372,600 residents of the city between 7pm last evening and 7am this morning, news.com.au reported.The aftershock, which measured a comparatively timid 3.8 on the Richter scale, came as tens of thousands of people tried to return to work this morning, but were actively discouraged by army and police.Dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake has been a nightmare for authorities, as people try to leave the city amidst a tangle of dislocated infrastructure. About 80 police officers from Auckland had been rushed to the south island to assist in law enforcement, as people demonstrate panic and frustration at petrol stations as they try to evacuate the city. Fears of looting, contaminated water, and power cuts hung over the city last night and into this morning, in the wake of what seemed to be a ghost town with little car or pedestrian traffic.”The scale of what has happened here is enormous,” Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said, before adding that it was miraculous that no-one had been killed in the natural disaster.The damage bill could be as high as NZ$2 billion (AU$1.6 billion), Earthquake Commission chief executive Ian Simpson said.Christchurch International Airport reopened at about 1.30pm on Saturday after hundreds of passengers were temporarily stranded by the airport closure, reported RadioNZ.There was superficial damage in both terminal buildings, including cracked walls, collapsed ceilings and broken glass, the airport’s chief executive, Jim Boult said.But the buildings are all structurally fine and 100 percent operational, he added.Christchurch, a tourist gateway for New Zealand, hosts tens of thousands of Australians each year.Some of Christchurch’s CBD hotels including Heritage, Millennium, Marque, Quest, Copthorne Central and Novotel are all up and running. The Copthorne Durham is speculated to be closed. Food deliveries are all normal and power has been returned to the CBD area since Saturday afternoon. A small section of the CBD area is cordoned off due to safety issues and to prevent sightseers from endangerment.last_img

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