As was well covered by various media yesterday, the operation in Christchurch has moved from “rescue” to “recovery”. In other words, they are no longer expecting to rescue people alive from the wreckage, but only to recover the bodies.
Teams have rescued 70 people, but the last person to be found alive was on February 23, just 25 hours after the quake. The current official death toll is 163, with “more than 200” people still missing.
I know that the thoughts of the whole country are with those in Christchurch, especially the family and friends of the dead and missing. And the thanks of the whole country are with the rescue teams and other workers, who have done everything humanly possible in very dangerous circumstances. Thank you all.