Queen ‘Utterly Shocked’ by New Zealand Earthquake

  February 23, 2011 at 6:42 am by

HM Queen Elizabeth II has released a statement in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake which shook Christchurch, New Zealand yesterday, February 22nd.

“I have been utterly shocked by the news of another earthquake in Christchurch. Please convey my deep sympathy to the families and friends of those who have been killed; my thoughts are with all those who have been affected by this dreadful event. My thoughts are also with the emergency services and everyone who is assisting in the rescue efforts.

Elizabeth R”

The 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit the Canterbury region of New Zealand’s south island at 12:51pm, local time on February 22nd. The epicentre of the quake was Heathcote Valley, approximately six kilometres from Christchurch. The earthquake caused widespread damage throughout Christchurch, devastating much of the city and reducing multiple buildings to rubble (including the Canterbury Television building and the Pyne Gould Corporation building). The century-old ChristChurch Cathedral saw its famed spire crash to the square below.

The earthquake was an aftershock of an earthquake which hit the same region in early September last year. Despite yesterday’s quake being smaller in magnitude (the September earthquake measured at 7.1 on the Richter Scale), it was closer to the earth’s surface, leading to greater and vaster damage. The timing of the earthquake has also played a significant role in the destruction caused – occurring in the middle of a workday, whereas the September quake struck early morning on a Saturday.

The earthquake has, so far, claimed the lives of seventy-five indivudals; with an estimate of 300 still missing amongst the collapsed buildings and rubble.

UPDATE: Throughout the course of February 22nd, both the Prince of Wales and Prince William released statements expressing their own sympathies to the victims of the earthquake.

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