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New Zealand's South Island city of Christchurch was rocked by a devastating quake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, on Tuesday afternoon (22.2.11). Several major buildings in the city were damaged, including the iconic Christchurch Cathedral. Essential services like phone lines and running water supply were badly affected in the area. The New Zealand government has declared a state of national emergency.
The epicenter of the quake was at Lyttelton, and according to the US Geological Survey, it was pretty shallow, estimated at being about 3 kilometers deep.
Till now, 75 people have been reported dead, and out of this, 55 bodies have been identified. About 300 people are still reported missing, even as rescue and relief operations are being undertaken on a war footing. The helpline number 0800 779997 will operate round the clock, giving information and transferring calls through to other appropriate agencies.