Earthquake hit Christchurch, NZ Strives to Recover

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And in New Zealand, life in parts of Christchurch begins to return to normal after Saturday’s 7.1 earthquake. But there were strong aftershocks overnight which had sent more people to shelters.

The city of Christchurch on New Zealand’s south island, is slowly recovering from Saturday's powerful 7.1 earthquake. Some commuter bus routes were opened and business owners began trading in parts of the city.

The city’s mayor praised the speed of the recovery.

[Bob Barker, Mayor of Christchurch]: (English)
"I think the city coming together incredibly well, given the scale of what we are undergoing. The airport is open and operating, we connecting our basic services right across the city. Reality is full recovery is a long way away, but the city isn't leveled, people are going about their business in a number of places, tourists are coming into the city, Christchurch persists and it will be fine, we will get it back together."

Several strong aftershocks rattled the city again overnight, prompting more people to arrive in shelters.

[Geert Van De Vorstenbos, Welfare Officer]: (English)
"Primarily there was an aftershock at about half past three this morning, it was quiet shallow and we have an influx of people coming shortly after."

The quake was among the 10 strongest recorded in New Zealand, which sits between the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates. New Zealand records more than 14,000 earthquakes a year, of which about 20 are above magnitude 5.0.

Prime Minister John Key is expected to revisit the city later on Monday.

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