Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

New Zealand lifts emergency in quake-hit Christchurch

by Staff Writers
Christchurch, New Zealand (AFP) Sept 16, 2010
New Zealand on Thursday lifted a state of emergency in quake-hit Christchurch as widespread damage prompted the central bank to leave rates on hold.

Officials said New Zealand's second-largest city was moving into recovery mode after the 7.0 magnitude quake, which hit just before dawn on September 4 -- the most powerful to hit the country in almost 80 years.

A civil defence spokesman said the state of emergency officially ended at midday Thursday (0000 GMT) after twice being extended in the quake's aftermath as authorities battled to cope with the widespread destruction.

"This does not mean the end of welfare, rebuilding and restoration work," the spokesman said. "That work will continue with urgency for as long as required."

While nobody died in the quake, the damage bill is expected to reach four billion dollars (2.7 billion US) and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand expressed concerns about the impact on the wider economy.

Announcing that official interest rates would remain on hold at 3.0 percent, Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard said rebuilding would be a lengthy process.

"The earthquake that struck Canterbury on September 4 has significantly disrupted economic activity and is likely to continue to do so for some time yet," he said.

Bollard said headline inflation was likely to spike with increased demand for construction materials but the central bank would not allow the disaster to distract it from its core mission to keep the economy on a steady course.

"Reconstruction and repairs will require considerable resources over the next year or two, particularly in the construction sector," he said.

"If, in the aftermath of the earthquake, the prices of some goods and services increase temporarily, monetary policy would remain focused on the medium-term trend in inflation."

The decision to leave rates on hold had been widely expected, with most analysts saying the central bank would adopt a "wait-and-see" approach to the quake's economic aftermath.

The earthquake toppled building facades, buckled rail lines and damaged 100,000 homes in the city of 340,000 people and Prime Minister John Key has described the lack of fatalities as a miracle.

While Christchurch residents have been rattled by hundreds of aftershocks since the main quake, most schools have reopened, public transport is operating and accommodation has been found for hundreds of people left homeless.

There have also been no disease outbreaks or major public health scares and no-go zones in the city centre were lifted last week as the danger from falling debris eased, allowing businesses to reopen.

Former prime minister Helen Clark, who now heads the United Nations Development Programme, said New Zealand's response had been exemplary and should be a model for other disaster-hit countries.

"There were no deaths, mostly because there were years of a strong building code and anticipating that New Zealand, on the ring of fire and volcanic area around the Pacific, could suffer such an event," she told reporters in a video-conference from New York early Thursday.

"Now what we have to aspire to do is build that level of resilience in countries around the world. It will take time, but it can be done."

Civil defence officials said lifting the emergency declaration meant special powers available to police and local councils in the immediate aftermath of the disaster were no longer required.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Tiny MAVs May Someday Explore And Detect Environmental Hazards
Arlington VA (AFNS) Sep 16, 2010
Air Force Office of Scientific Research-sponsored researcher, Dr. Robert Wood of Harvard University is leading the way in what could become the next phase of high-performance micro air vehicles for the Air Force. His basic research is on track to evolve into robotic, insect-scale devices for monitoring and exploration of hazardous environments, such as collapsed structures, caves and chemi ... read more

EU agrees trade-linked aid package for Pakistan

Tiny MAVs May Someday Explore And Detect Environmental Hazards

New Zealand lifts emergency in quake-hit Christchurch

UN humanitarian chief calls for new thinking on mega-crises

Asia defies global newspaper meltdown

E-readers yet to win mass market in China

Indian handset makers emerge as hyper-competitive force

Home Electrical Wiring Acts As Antenna To Receive Low-Power Sensor Data

Global Fisheries Research Finds Promise And Peril

Drought shrinks Amazon River to lowest level in 47 years

Marine Scientists Call For European Marine Observatory Network

Human Impacts On The Deep Seafloor

Russia, Canada trade rival Arctic claims

Glaciers Help High-Latitude Mountains Grow Taller

Arctic sea ice shrinks to third lowest area on record

Arctic ice melting quickly, report says

Global Project Underway To Preserve Yam Biodiversity

Indian Farmers Adopt Flood-Tolerant Rice At Unprecedented Rates

China says will pay close attention to BHP bid for Potash

Unusual Feed Supplement Could Ease Greenhouse Gassy Cows

Hurricane Karl menaces Mexico, Igor eyes Bermuda

Next Iceland eruption will likely cause less havoc: experts

Purdue Students Face Storm To Study Hurricane Development

Rare duo of powerful hurricanes roils Atlantic

Kenya may be lifeline for new Sudan state

Termites Foretell Climate Change In Africa's Savannas

Nigeria leader replaces military, security heads: presidency

Congo dispute could hurt Africa investment

Roma issue could overshadow EU summit

Scientists Glimpse Dance Of Skeletons Inside Neurons

European Parliament blasts Roma expulsions

New Climate Change Mitigation Schemes Could Benefit Elites More Than Poor

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement