New Zealand: major earthquake hits Christchurch

A collapsed building in Christchurch [Catholic Diocese of Christchurch]

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake has struck 10 km south-east of Christchurch in New Zealand.

Current reports are that large parts of the city have been damaged and that 75 people have been killed. With aftershocks continuing and with many people still trapped in collapsed buildings, it is likely that this figure will rise

This is the second time that an earthquake has hit the region in six months, but the damage to property and lives is believed to be considerably more extensive than it was last September. A national state of emergency has been declared. There are also reports that the Catholic Cathedral has been damaged in the quake (see picture).

Our partners Caritas New Zealand are attempting to obtain an accurate picture of the damage to property and lives. After the last earthquake, they worked alongside Catholic Social Services and St. Vincent de Paul to support trauma counselling and provide relief supplies. As the situation continues to develop, they have asked us to keep the people of Christchurch in our thoughts and our prayers.

Any help and support is appreciated by everybody!

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