Keith Palmer, a 48-year-old member of the parliamentary protection force, was fatally stabbed as he stood guard at the Westminster vehicle gates. Prime Minister Theresa May said the husband and father, who had been a police officer for 15 years, was "every inch a hero". As a tribute, London's Charlton Athletic football club placed a scarf on the stadium seat he held a season ticket.
Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, owner of Italian storied soccer club AC Milan, has agreed to postpone the closing of the deal by an extra six weeks after being granted a further 100 million euros in cash and securities, a source told Reuters.
Newly published video showing British Prime Minister Theresa May being rushed out of Parliament while an attack unfolded nearby seems to show some confusion and delays on the part of her security detail.
Hungary's new law to detain migrants in transit zones on its southern border will put children on the move at risk of exposure to sexual abuse, the watchdog Council of Europe said on Friday in a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
PM Matteo Renzi: the priority is to rescue survivors
Mayor of Amatrice: half of the town ‘isn’t here any more’
The eight-year-old girl was pulled alive from the rubble in Pescara del Tronto, one of the three towns most severely damaged by the earthquake in central Italy. As night fell, two women ran up the street yelling: “She’s alive!”
An eight-year-old girl has been pulled out alive from earthquake rubble, according to a firefighter chief in Italy. More details soon.
The Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, has said at least 120 people have died in the earthquake, rising from 73 earlier in the day.
Here is a summary of everything we know so far:
Donations can be made to this number:
Italia Centrale: per donare numero solidale 45500
Reuters reports that six of the Vatican’s 37 firefighters have travelled to Amatrice to help civil protection workers look for survivors still under the rubble and assist those already rescued.
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has said Germany is ready to provide any aid needed by Italy. At a news conference in Estonia, Merkel said: The pictures we are seeing are awful. We will be ready to do everything we can to help Italy if needed, and our thoughts are with the people of the region today.
The earthquake in Italy throws the spotlight on lax construction laws, The death toll from is rising at an alarming rate. But so far it looks as if the number of fatalities will be substantially lower than when an earthquake of comparable force , killing 309 people. The casualty tally will nevertheless be far higher than it should be in a country of Italy’s wealth – but much lower than it might have been. The 6.2-magnitude earthquake, like the one that devastated L’Aquila, struck at night.
A family of four, including two boys aged 8 months and nine, were buried when their house in Accumoli imploded, Reuters reports. As rescue workers carried away the body of the infant, carefully covered by a small blanket, the children’s grandmother blamed God: “He took them all at once,” she wailed. In Amatrice, a resident named Giancarlo said: “It’s all young people here, it’s holiday season, the town festival was to have been held the day after tomorrow so lots of people came for that. It’s terrible, I’m 65 years old and I have never experienced anything like this, small tremors, yes, but nothing this big. This is a catastrophe.”
Seventeen crews from the state police have reportedly arrived in the affected areas to prevent looting:
: per prevenire sciacallaggio 17 equipaggi dei Reparti Prevenzione Crimine della hanno raggiunto le zone colpite
Christos Stylianides, the European commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, has . He said: We express our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones. Our thoughts are also with the first responders and all those involved in the rescue operations.
My condolences and sympathy to everyone affected by the earthquake. The EU stands ready to help
Over the past seven centuries, there have been “between 20 and 30” large, damaging quakes in the central Apennines, according to Joanna Faure Walker, a lecturer at University College London’s Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, as quoted by AFP.
The earthquake hit in one of Italy’s most seismically prone regions and dangerous aftershocks are possible, scientists have said. The US Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the quake occurred six miles (10km ) south-east of Norcia, measuring 6.2 on the moment magnitude scale and striking at a shallow depth of only 6.2 miles.
At least 73 people have been killed in the earthquake, according to Italy’s civil protection unit, as quoted by AFP. Immacolata Postiglione, the head of the unit’s emergency department, announced the new toll at a press conference in Rome as rescue efforts continued in the mountain villages devastated by the quake.
Italian police have released helicopter footage of the worst-hit areas.
le immagini dei paesi colpiti dal sisma dagli elicotteri della
The medieval church of Sant’Agostino in Amatrice appears to have been badly damaged in the earthquake.
MAP: Magnitude 6.2 earthquake levels in central Italy, damaging the medieval Church of Sant'Agostino
Among destroyed buildings in Amatrice, 13th century churches with frescoes. Damage on artistic heritage in the area is being assessed.
The Vatican has dispatched six of its firefighters to Amatrice to help with the rescue efforts, a papal spokesman told reporters.
Vatican: As a sign of closeness to the victims of the , Pope Francis sent six of the Vatican firemen to help in Amatrice
Here’s what’s left of Pescara del Tronto where at least 10 people were killed.
The US state department has urged Americans in Italy to contact their friends and families to offer reassurance they are safe.
US citizens in if you're safe after the please contact family and friends, check in on social media
The Italian news agency , including that figure of at least 35 dead in Amatrice given by the local mayor. Ansa’s estimate also includes 11 people confirmed to be killed in Accumoli and another 10 victims in Pescara del Tronto.
, per il bilancio non ufficiale sono almeno 63 le vittime. Dati ufficiali e constatati dall'ANSA sul posto
As aftershocks continue, Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology has charted a summary of seismic activity in central Italy over the last 12 hours.
Sequenza Sismica tra le province di Rieti Perugia Ascoli L'Aquila Teramo aggiornamento ore 12
Some of the victims are known to be children. . Its chief executive, Valerio Neri, said: “Children are the most vulnerable during emergencies and the impact of such events on their psyche is especially traumatic.
Photographer Massimo Percossi captured what is likely to be one of the most enduring images of the earthquake. It shows an injured nun in Amatrice checking her mobile phone as she sat next to a victim laid out on ladder and covered in a blanket.
AP has footage of a man and a girl being rescued from the rubble in Amatrice.
At least 35 people have been killed in the town of Amatrice alone, Sky News Italy reports, citing the mayor, Sergio Perozzi.
, sindaco : bilancio è di 35 morti
+++ 35 vittime accertate solo ad +++
Amatrice, continuano le ricerche dei dispersi fra le macerie. Volontari sul posto.
Here’s what we know so far:
Video footage from Pescara del Tronto, where at least 10 people were killed, shows that much of the hill town has been reduced to rubble.
Pescara del Tronto. Il paese è raso al suolo. Macerie e soccorsi. Video
Pope Francis turned his weekly general audience into a prayer service, according to Catholic publication . The pope is reported to have said: On hearing the news of the earthquake that has struck central Italy and which has devastated many areas and left many wounded, I cannot fail to express my heartfelt sorrow and spiritual closeness to all those present in the zones afflicted. I want to assure all the people of Accumoli, Amatrice, the diocese of Rieti, Ascoli Piceno and all the people of Lazio, Umbria and Le Marche of the prayers and close solidarity of the entire church.
Matteo Renzi’s office has tweeted this video of the prime minister’s statement.
Dichiarazione-video sul . Non lasceremo solo nessuno
Our graphics team have created slideover images to show before and after photographs from the towns worst hit.
Jon Henley, our European affairs correspondent, summarises the latest developments in this story: At least 38 people have died and many more are missing after a powerful earthquake struck a string of towns and villages in a swath of mountainous central , razing homes, buckling roads and burying residents under mounds of rubble. The 6.2-magnitude quake struck at 3.36am when most people in the hardest-hit towns of Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto were asleep, and was felt as far away as Rome – more than 93 miles (150km) away – authorities and witnesses said.
A Sky News translator quoted Renzi saying:
Renzi said he would visit the areas worst hit later today.
Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, is giving a TV address. According to a BBC translator he said now is the time to cry but also to act. He said no area would be left behind in the rescue efforts.
+++ Renzi: nessuno sarà lasciato solo. Nessuna famiglia, nessun comune. Momento commozione e azione +++
The , which is about two miles (4km) north-east of Norcia and 40km north of Amatrice.
The president of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has written to Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, expressing solidarity and offering assistance.
We stand, as ever, in solidarity with the Italian nation and are ready to assist in any way we can.
The official death toll has increased again and is expected to rise further, Reuters reports. At least 38 people died in a powerful earthquake that hit central Italy early on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the civil protection department said. The quake struck towns and villages in the mountainous heart of the country, which was making the rescue operation more difficult, said spokeswoman Immacolata Postiglione.
Protezione civile aggiorna: 38 i morti, 10 ad Arquata del Tronto, 28 tra Amatrice e Accumoli
At least 37 people were killed in the earthquake, according to a spokeswoman for Italy’s civil protection agency quoted by Reuters.
The Italian news agency Aska News has footage of several people being rescued from the debris in Amatrice, one of the worst-hit towns. Rocks and metal tumbled on to the streets and dazed residents huddled in piazzas as some 39 aftershocks jolted the region into the early morning hours, some as strong as 5.1. “The whole ceiling fell but did not hit me,” said resident Maria Gianni. “I just managed to put a pillow on my head and I wasn’t hit luckily, just slightly injured my leg.”
Images from Amatrice before and after the earthquake struck show the extent of the impact.
The Italian Red Cross has urged drivers to avoid using the Via Salaria, the main road north-east of Rome, so that rescue workers can reach the worst-hit areas.
, automobilisti invitati ad evitare di percorrere Via Salaria per permettere ai mezzi di soccorso di raggiungere le zone colpite.
Nine people are confirmed dead in Accumoli, with at least three other people missing, the mayor has told Rai News. The official also said at least 2,000 have been left homeless.
sindaco : 9 morti e 3-4 dispersi. Almeno 2.000 sfollati
The clock on a tower in Amatrice stopped just after 3.35am when the earthquake struck.
The mayor of Accumoli confirms four dead and eight missing in the village, according to state broadcaster. Earlier it reported that six people had been killed in Accumoli.
NEWS/ : sindaco Accumoli, al momento 4 morti e 8 dispersi.
Video has emerged showing the extent of the devastation in Pescara del Tronto, where at least 10 people were killed. It starts with an aerial view of the damage to the hill village, then cuts to views of rubble-strewn streets and ends with a team of officials discussing the rescue plan.
State broadcaster Rai News reports 21 confirmed deaths. It reports that six people were killed in the nearby village of Accumoli. There are also 10 confirmed dead in Pescara del Tronto, north of the reported epicentre, and a further five in Amatrice. The mayor of Amatrice said dozens had been killed in the town.
bilancio provvisorio: 21 morti accertati. 10 a 6 ad e 5 ad
Pope Francis has thanked rescue workers and volunteers and invited everyone to join him in prayer for the victims, according to Rai News.
+++ Papa: ringrazio questi volontari e uomini protezione civile e invito tutti a unirsi in preghiera +++
Simona Mani lives in York but returned to her hometown of Acquasparta (about 90km west of epicentre) yesterday to visit her family on holiday. She gives this account: “This was definitely the strongest experience of an earthquake I have ever had, as the epicentre was close to here and near the surface. My parents and I were abruptly awoken when we heard a loud noise and felt the house shake violently. Some objects fell from the walls and we ran outside, as did many neighbours and most of the village. A typical quake here lasts just a few seconds, but in this case we woke up, ran out, talked to each other, and the earth kept shaking the whole time. It seems the quake lasted about 20 seconds, but it felt endless.
The mayor of Amatrice, Sergio Pirozzi, has told the Italian state broadcaster that there are “dozens of dead”. : “There are so many dead I cannot make an estimate. We have already extracted several dead bodies but we do not know how many there are there below.” He added: “There are dozens of victims, many under the rubble, we are setting up a place for the bodies.”
NEWS/ : sindaco Amatrice, 'decine morti'.
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Video, purported to be from Cornillo Vecchio, which is a few kilometres north of Amatrice shows cars covered in rubble.
Video from my father in law 5km from
Aerial views of Amatrice suggest that the mayor was not exaggerating when he said “half of the town is gone”.
Both Reuters and AFP say at least 10 people were killed in the quake, citing local media. The national civil protection agency said it could not give an official toll as rescue efforts were still under way. Deaths were reported in three villages in a mountainous area straddling the regions of Lazio and Marche: Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto.
A camper who gave his name as Jonquil describes being woken by the quake. I was camping near Serramonacesca, about 100km south of epicentre. I was woken by a sensation similar to that of a giant taking hold of my tent and shaking it vigorously for about six seconds. It was followed by sound of falling rocks as mountainside in neighbouring valley collapses.
Dramatic images have emerged of a survivor being pulled from the rubble in Amatrice.
Britain’s Foreign Office has urged British citizens in the affected areas to . It said: An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 struck central Italy during the early hours of 24 August. The earthquake was also felt in Rome. If you are in the affected area, you should follow the advice of the local authorities. If you are in Italy, Civil Protection have activated a hotline 800840840 for information. To learn more about what to do before, during, and after an earthquake visit the
Local News says the earthquake was about 4km beneath Accumoli (Rieti), which is now almost inaccessible. Here is Amatrice, 14km to the south of Accumoli, before and after the quake.
Tourists close to the epicentre described the panic after the quake. Nick Mortimer told the Guardian: We are a family of nine gathering for a 60th birthday celebration in a villa and accompanying cottage near Amandola. The quake and at least one aftershock caused us to run out of the buildings in a bit of a panic. The first quake caused major shaking of the buildings but no obvious damage. The aftershocks have continued but seem to be less severe over the last hour. I am on holiday in my home village in the Marche region, a few kilometres away from Amatrice and the epicentre. I felt a very strong shaking at about 3am ... It went on for ages – then again about 1/2 hour or 45 min later. It was like 1997. Terrifying. Hello. I am an expat living in Rome. I was woken by the quake, our building swayed for a very long 20/30 seconds. I was still awake for the second one. Scary.
As the morning gets under way in Italy, it seems the damage is worse than feared. This is from Reuters: “Now that daylight has come, we see that the situation is even more dreadful than we feared with buildings collapsed, people trapped under the rubble and no sound of life,” said the mayor of Accumoli, Stefano Petrucci.
Here’s more of what Rainews is continuing to report on the quake.
airing video of damage in
It should be stressed that many of the first images coming through are from Amatrice, one of the towns close to the epicentre. But a number of other local towns and municipalities have been affected. We’ll update you more as we hear from other parts of italy.
More images are coming through showing what appears to be the collapse of entire buildings. Rescue and search crews are being mobilised across the affected areas to begin searching through the rubble.
My colleague Michael Slezak has just sent through a useful explanation outlining what the has assessed about the cause of the quake and extent of damage. Here’s what he sent through: The US Geological Survey has reported the earthquake was a result of a “normal fault”, which occurs when one plate is pushed down over another one. In this case, the Tyrrhenian basin – the area between Sicily and Sardeninia – is expanding, pushing Eurasia towards Africa faster than the Eurasian and African plates can compress.
More images are emerging from Rainews in Italy showing the extent of damage. There appear to be a number of buildings that have collapsed, with cars strewn beneath rubble
inviata Francesca Malaguti: soccorritori a mani nude guidati da voci sotto macerie
This is not the first time this region of Italy has been struck by a high intensity quake. Rieti, the epicentre of the quake, is only 60km from L’Aquila, where . More than 300 people died after a 6.3-magnitude tremor hit the capital of the mountainous Abruzzo region. The earthquake wrecked L’Aquila’s historic centre, injured more than 1,000 people and left tens of thousands homeless.
AFP is now reporting there has been a third confirmed death. Here’s its latest report: The first two confirmed victims were an elderly couple whose home collapsed in Pescara del Tronto in the Marche region, east of the epicentre, according to national broadcaster Rai. Another person died and a family of four including two young children were trapped, feared dead, in their collapsed house in Accumoli, a village close to the epicentre, according to its mayor.
I’ve just spoken with Helen Miller, who lives near the quake region about one-and-a-half hours from Accumoli. The quake was clearly felt where she lives in Saint Angelo in Pontano. Here’s what she said earlier: I am in Sant Angelo in Pontano, Le Marche, where I live, about one-and-a-half hours from Accumoli over the mountains. The dogs have been barking since it happened. I went out to find my horses as soon as the first earthquake struck, they were wild-eyed and afraid, on high-alert. The second quake happened and they took off at speed. When the first quake struck felt as thought the house would burst and the shakes continue now. Even here people were standing in the streets, dazed, you just don’t know how close it is, what might come next. The aftershocks go on now, as they did with L’Aquila. I know it will be bad up there on the mountains and people are trapped, and animals will be trapped as shelters collapse.
Here’s more images of rescue crews in Amatrice, where the damage to buildings and infrastructure appears to be extensive based on reports coming through.
Rescue crews needed in , reports people trapped. Area roads in bad shape. (: @GuiliaCiarapix/)
The first reports are beginning to emerge of injuries and deaths from towns close to the epicentre of the earthquake in Italy. Reuters is reporting that police in Pescara have said two people have died, while a number of others are trapped under rubble. Here’s the key parts of their report: A strong earthquake brought down buildings in central Italy early on Wednesday, trapping residents and sending others fleeing into the streets, with at least six people believed killed. The worst hit towns were believed to be Accumoli, Amatrice, Posta and Arquata del Tronto, Fire department spokesman Luca Cari told Reuters, adding that helicopters would be sent up at first light to assess the damage.
Pictures beginning to emerge from Amatrice in central Italy are showing some of the devastation caused by the quake. Here’s some of the first images we’ve received.
Italian news network Rainews is broadcasting footage of the aftermath of the earthquake. There’s substantial debris from the footage we can see, posted by other users watching the broadcast on Twitter.
first footages on
A number of images are beginning to surface from areas affected by the quake. The Umbria 24 news network has published a number of photos that show damage to buildings, tunnels and the evacuation of residents:
Crolli lungo strada per Norcia. Mandateci le vostre foto dall'Umbria a email@example.com o sui social
Paura in tutta l' . Persone che dormono in strada (nella foto a )
One of the towns where reports have first emerged of damage is Amatrice, in central Italy. The epicentre of the quake is Rieti, approximately 170km (105 miles) from Rome. Here’s a map outlining where the quake has struck:
We’ve just published Here’s an excerpt that outlines the key points: An earthquake recorded at magnitude 6.2 has struck central , with reports of extensive damage, people trapped, others fleeing into the streets and blackouts near the epicentre. The mayor of the small town of Amatrice said residents were buried under debris and the town “isn’t here any more”.
An has struck central Italy, with reports emerging of widespread damage across a number of towns. We’ll have rolling coverage of events as we receive news of the impact on towns. Here’s a short summary of what we know so far:
Cordons in central Wellington over fears of building collapse
one of the most complex earthquakes ever recorded on land.
Before (March 2016)/After (Nov 2016) Worldview 2 images of Waipapa Bay (c) NextView. Same location as helicopter pic.
Here’s our latest report from New Zealand on evacuations and fears for wildlife:
The evacuation of Kaikoura is almost complete, Associated Press reports: Air Commodore Darryn Webb, the acting commander of New Zealand’s joint forces, told the Associated Press that crews were loading about 380 people and three dogs on to a navy ship. He said the ship was due to leave Wednesday evening for a six-hour trip to a port near Christchurch. Webb said it had evacuated another 340 people by helicopter since Tuesday.
As the dust begins to settle three days after New Zealand’s devastating earthquake, there are growing concerns for the fate of endangered marine wildlife off the coast of Kaikoura, with experts unable to get out to sea to assess their condition. A submarine canyon 800m off the Kaikoura shore is responsible for the rich array of marine animals attracted to the area, including half a dozen species of whale, rare and endangered dolphins, blue penguins, New Zealand fur seals and protected native bird life.
The upward revising of Monday’s earthquake from 7.5 to 7.8 might not seem huge, but it means more than the 0.3 difference might suggest. at the US Geological Survey shows that a magnitude 7.8 earthquake is nearly twice as big (1.995 times) as a 7.5 quake.
The revised magnitude of 7.8 makes this the largest earthquake in New Zealand since the Dusky Sound quake of July 2009 – also a 7.8. Then, the remote location – at New Zealand’s south-west tip, in the Fiordland National Park – meant there were no recorded casualties and few landslides.
The home of the critically endangered Hutton Shearwater in Kaikoura has been severely damaged by the quake. Karen Baird, Seabird Conservation Advocate for conservation organisation says: The earthquake has caused a landslide that has damaged the breeding grounds of our critically endangered Hutton Shearwater. Half of the largest colony has slipped away (there are two colonies). Birds will be on eggs at the moment, so it’s a devastating loss for a species already considered at risk.
Sad news from Kaikoura where half of one of two breeding colonies for Hutton's Shearwater has slipped away.
Geonet, which had originally <(a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2016/nov/16/new-zealand-earthquake-help-stranded-kaikoura-live?page=with:block-582be018e4b06ac41294e04a#block-582be018e4b06ac41294e04a">with caveats) recorded the mainshock at 7.5 magnitude, has on the new 7.8 rating. It explains: Early indications are that this is one of the most complex earthquakes ever recorded on land. This complexity means we have had to take extraordinary efforts to determine the magnitude, depth, and locations … Due to the size of the quakes, we’ve gathered data from our entire network of seismic stations. All of these stations would not normally need to be included in magnitude estimates.
The acting minister of civil defence, Gerry Brownlee, also offered an update on the evacuations from Kaikoura: The HMNZS Canterbury will this evening set sail to Lyttelton [a port town close to Christchurch] with about 390 evacuees from Kaikoura on board. The ship is expected to arrive around 11pm tonight, depending on weather conditions and the amount of time it takes to upload those waiting in Kaikoura.
Gerry Brownlee, the acting minister of civil defence, has explained why the magnitude of Monday’s mainshock has been revised upwards: informed my office of the revised magnitude earlier today after reassessing the data from its stations across the country. Because it took over a minute for the fault to rupture during this event, the standard method normally used to calculate the energy released during an earthquake was insufficient.
Reports had varied on the strength of the initial quake that struck shortly after midnight on Monday morning. New Zealand’s own monitoring service, Geonet, had measured the earthquake as magnitude 7.5 (and that’s what we at the Guardian have been using in our reporting up to now). Why were our magnitudes different from the USGS: About magnitude variability We have currently established that the local magnitude for this earthquake is 7.5, but this may be reviewed over time when more detailed research is undertaken. This may bring it closer to the internationally-derived value (e.g. Mw7.8 by the US Geological Survey).
The New Zealand government has officially upgraded the magnitude of Monday’s earthquake from 7.5 to 7.8.
Evacuations from Kaikoura continue, with hundreds of people – mostly tourists – who have been trapped since the town was cut off from road access now being taken out by boat to the navy vessel HMNZS Canterbury:
The latest report from Geonet, New Zealand’s earthquake monitor, tallies the number of quakes felt in the country since Monday’s mainshock at 1,823. At 4.30pm local time (2.30pm AEDT, 3.30am GMT), Geonet had recorded 15 quakes in the previous hour, and 307 in the preceding 12 hours.
16.30 pm update: 15 eqs in last hour, 307 eqs in last 12 hrs (18 over M4) and 1823 eqs since the M7.5. Kaikoura Earthquake
One unexpected side-effect of the quake has been the apparent raising of the seabed at Kaikoura. Dr Joshu Mountjoy, a marine geologist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, the phenomenon was probably due to movement of the Hundalee fault: Some faults go side-to-side while others move vertically, like in this case, where the fault has pushed the land up into the air, and it appears to be by about a metre.
Aerial photographs show the seabed uplift north of Kaikoura - estimated to be between 2 - 2.5 metres.
Before (March 2016)/After (Nov 2016) Worldview 2 images of Waipapa Bay (c) NextView. Same location as helicopter pic.
Reuters has this report on the latest from the South Island coastal town: Two New Zealand navy vessels on Wednesday reached a small South Island town cut off for more than two days by a devastating earthquake, bringing supplies of food and water and plans to evacuate hundreds of stranded tourists and residents. Prime minister John Key went to Kaikoura by helicopter to inspect damage to roads that cut off the seaside tourist town after the 7.5 magnitude quake that struck just after midnight on Sunday.
Flew down to Kaikoura again today to check in with locals and get an idea of what further support the region needs. The government was expecting to receive satellite imagery later on Wednesday to assess massive landslips around the country. The quake buffeted much of central New Zealand and left two people dead. “Look at this road here,” Key said on his journey to Kaikoura, around 150km (90 miles) north of Christchurch. “I just don’t see how you can ever repair that bit of road. The whole mountain has moved over.”
A sense of the scale of the task ahead clearing roads to Kaikoura and other towns cut off by landslides is emerging as more pictures arrive. This is the road to Waiau <(a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/15/surviving-in-waiau-the-forgotten-town-closest-to-the-nz-quake-epicentre">read more about how that town is coping here):
Evacuations – principally of tourists – are continuing from Kaikoura. In addition to the airlifts that began yesterday, HMNZS Canterbury is now anchored nearby and people are being taken out of the stranded town by sea.
Those 1200-odd tourists being evacuated from Kaikoura sure come with a lot of luggage
Supplies are coming thick & fast on choppers returning from Woodend welfare centre
The evacuation in central Wellington is affecting a number of other organisations who have their offices on Molesworth Street – including the New Zealand Red Cross, which is playing a key role in relief efforts elsewhere in the country. New Zealand Rugby headquarters, the Thai embassy and the city’s Anglican cathedral have also been evacuated.
We are working hard to get our HQ up & running, whilst ensuring the priority remains helping the people of
The mayor of Wellington, Justin Lester has just been speaking about the office building at 61 Molesworth Street, in the centre of the city, that has been deemed unsafe and liable to collapse. He told reporters: Internally there were some problems … That’s why it’s a likelihood it will be deconstructed.
The US department of defence has deployed the USS Sampson to aid the relief effort in New Zealand. The warship was already in the region as part of events to mark Royal New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary. It was the first US warship to visit New Zealand for 30 years, since Wellington adopted a nuclear-free policy in the 1980s. That meant a blanket ban on US ships, since America will not confirm whether its vessels have nuclear capabilities. The guided missile destroyer USS Sampson is rushing to New Zealand to help those affected by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake … Navy Admiral Harry Harris, the Pacom commander, said the ship carries two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters that will be invaluable at the scene …
Department of conservation (DOC) ranger Mike Morrissey that some seals were likely to have been killed in the landslide at Ohau Point, while others would be returning from sea to find their home gone: Those seals generally come back to the area where they were born. They’ll go in there and it won’t be like anywhere they recognise before, so they’ll probably just go and breed on other parts of the coast. The majority of that breeding colony [at Ohau Point] is completely gone. It’s just rock.
Environmentalist Kimberley Collins has shared this video of seals at Kaikoura’s Ohau Point – the area is believed to have been destroyed by landslides prompted by the earthquake:
Gutted to hear the seal breeding colony at Ohau Point has been destroyed in the quake. I loved watching them play in the rock pools!
Meanwhile, in Wellington, Molesworth Street in the CBD – just round the corner from the parliament – remains cordoned off amid fears an office building is facing collapse.
another view of building on Molesworth We have a clear structural failure. What’s caused that will be determined later. The clear structural failure is a major beam, a vertical beam in the building, has been shorn. It looks somewhat like a broken bone in the leg. It is fractured through. It is a major supporting beam. It is up above the fifth floor, so it is the top four floors.
As relief efforts continue for people affected by the quake and its fallout, concerns are also shifting to the fate of wildlife, especially in the South Island. Kaikoura’s famed seal sanctuary at Ohau Point is reported to have been wiped out by a landslide. It is clear from reports that the recent earthquakes have impacted upon wildlife, including seals, penguins and seabirds. DOC’s immediate priority in the aftermath of the earthquakes is to assist Civil Defence with the recovery effort, including ensuring that structures and tracks are safe. DOC is aware there has been a large slip at Ohau Point, which is a specially protected seal sanctuary. Images indicate the landslips are likely to have resulted in casualties to seals.
Although relief efforts – and international attention – have been focused on Kaikoura, which has been cut off from road access since the quake struck in the early hours of Monday, other communities have also been hit. And some feel they need more help than they are getting, as Eleanor Ainge Roy reports from Waiau, the town closest to the epicentre: Waiau, in north Canterbury, is home to 280 people. Its name means flowing water in Māori. And flowing water has been the community’s main concern these last couple of days, after unstable bridges over the grey Waiau river made road access impossible for relief vehicles, or residents wanting to leave. Although located only 80km (50 miles) south-west of Kaikoura – where a massive relief operation is under way – people in Waiau feel they have been left to fend for themselves.
The initial magnitude 7.5 earthquake hit just after midnight as Sunday moved into Monday – 60 hours later, New Zealand has been shaken by 1,718 quakes, some severe. New Zealanders have been warned that aftershocks are likely to continue for some time yet.
12 pm update: 37 eqs in the last hour, 336 eqs in last 12 hrs (21 over M4) and 1718 eqs since the M7.5. Kaikoura Earthquake
Welcome to our continuing live coverage of the aftermath of Monday’s massive earthquake in New Zealand. Relief efforts continue, with hundreds of people who have been stranded in Kaikoura, a coastal town in the South Island popular with tourists, starting to be shipped out to the HMNZS Canterbury, which has anchored nearby.
In the worst-hit town, relatives and friends gather around caskets at state funeral for 38 victims, including two children Italy on Tuesday held a poignantly symbolic funeral for victims of last week’s earthquake amid the ruins of Amatrice, the small town that bore the brunt of the disaster. The Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, prime minister, Matteo Renzi, and a senior representative of Pope Francis were among hundreds of mourners at the service on the edge of the hilltop beauty spot where 231 of the quake’s 292 confirmed fatalities occurred.