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    New Zealand mourns one week on


    by ODN


    Christchurch came to a standstill earlier as people in the city marked the moment a deadly earthquake struck one week ago.

    Muffled church bells signalled the moment - 12.51 pm (2351 GMT) - when the magnitude 6.3 quake struck, levelling buildings and sending masonry and bricks onto streets filled with lunchtime shoppers and office workers.

    The scale of the disaster meant the national state of emergency declared last week has been extended for a further seven days and is likely to continue for weeks to come, Civil Defence Minister John Carter said.

    In the middle of the city, which bore the brunt of the quake, politicians, local officials, rescuers and church leaders gathered around a simple memorial of several bricks taken from the worst hit buildings, covered in flowers.

    In the capital Wellington, around 4,000 people gathered outside the parliament.

    No survivors have been found since last week, and police have said the final death toll will probably be around 240, making it the country's second worst natural disaster after the 1931 Napier earthquake, which killed 256.