Record number of births at NZ hospital after quake

21 babes born in Christchurch hospital in 24-hour period after 7.1 Richter scale quake tore a new fault through South Island.

September 6, 2010 15:36
1 minute read.
Boy skateboards on road shattered by 7.1 quake.

311_earthquake. (photo credit: Associated Press)

An unusually high number of births were recorded after a 7.1 Richter scale earthquake hit New Zealand this past weekend, AFP reported on Monday.

At Christchurch Women's hospital, a record 21 babies were born last Saturday in the 24-hour period following the earthquake, a hospital spokeswoman told AFP.

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The quake struck at 4:35 a.m. Saturday near the South Island city of 400,000 people, ripping open a new fault line in the earth's surface, destroying hundreds of buildings and cutting power to the region. No one was killed, and only two serious injuries were reported.

"There will be considerable disruption to the (regional) and national economy in the short term," but activity should pick up as reconstruction gains momentum," Prime Minister John Key said.

Around 100,000 of the region's 160,000 homes had sustained some damage, he said.

New Zealand's  last major earthquake registered magnitude 7.8 and hit South Island's Fiordland region on July 16, 2009, moving the southern tip of the country 12 inches (30 centimeters) closer to Australia.

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