NZ Marks Eighth Anniversary of Christchurch Quake
The city of Christchurch has marked the eighth anniversary of an earthquake that killed 185 people and caused extensive damage from which the city is still recovering.
Of the victims, 115 people were killed when the six-story Canterbury Television Building collapsed. Among them were 28 Japanese, as well as other foreign nationals, who were studying English at a language school on the third floor of the building.
A small service at the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial on the banks of the Avon River included a minute’s silence at 12:51 p.m. to mark the exact time the magnitude 6.3 quake struck on 22 February 2011.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel said in her remarks that the community continues to gather each year to ensure the lives of those who were lost “live on not only in the memories of those who loved and knew them well, but also in our collective memories.”
Dalziel also paid tribute to the foreign victims, saying, “Christchurch is the final resting place to many from overseas [and we acknowledge] what that means to their families.”
Eight years on, a sense of frustration lingers among some families as no one has been held responsible for the structural deficiencies blamed for the collapse of the building, which claimed more than half of the victims.
Original article by The Japan Times, February 22, 2019.