NZ earthquake death toll at 75 as search continues

February 23, 2011 08:20

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — Rescuers used their bare hands, dogs, and heavy machines Wednesday in an urgent search for survivors still trapped in crumbled buildings more than 24 hours after an earthquake devastated one of New Zealand's largest cities.

The confirmed death toll from Tuesday's magnitude-6.3 quake rose to 75, and officials said it was almost sure to climb further. Some 300 people were listed as missing.

Cheers broke out when an emergency team pulled a woman from the twisted metal and shattered concrete of one of the worst-hit buildings in Christchurch, while police announced they had lost all hope of finding survivors in another major wreckage.

Parts of the city of 350,000 people lay in ruins, and all corners of it were suffering cuts to water supplies, power and phones.

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