No Slovak citizens are reported to have been among the victims of a devastating earthquake that hit New Zealand’s second-largest city Christchurch on Tuesday, February 22, the Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry reported.
The earthquake claimed at least 75 lives, with hundreds more injured. “The Foreign Affairs Ministry has no information that any Slovak citizens were among the victims of the earthquake or among the injured,” ministry spokesman Ľuboš Schwarzbacher told the TASR newswire on February 22. Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič has sent his condolences to New Zealand’s Governor-General Anand Satyanand, Gašparovič’s spokesman Marek Trubač announced.
New Zealand rescue teams were combing the rubble for earthquake survivors late into Wednesday night (local time), but hopes of finding more survivors in some areas has faded and the search in central Christchurch has been disrupted by fears that some of the more badly damaged buildings could collapse.
New Zealand police said, as quoted by the Reuters newswire, that the number of confirmed dead remained at 75, although that was expected to rise with more than 300 people still missing after Tuesday’s 6.3-magnitude earthquake. Search teams have reportedly given up hope of finding survivors in a flattened television building that was also home to a language school for foreign students, many of them Japanese. Meanwhile, the city’s tallest building, the 26-storey Hotel Grand Chancellor, is in danger of collapse.
Source: TASR, Reuters
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
23. Feb 2011 at 14:00