New Zealand marks fifth anniversary of fatal quake

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Wellington, Feb 22 (IANS) Hundreds of people in Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city, gathered on Monday to commemorate the fifth anniversary of an earthquake, one of the strongest in 2011, which killed 185 people.

A minute’s silence was observed at the Botanical Gardens at the exact moment the quake struck Canterbury region, where names of all 185 people killed in the quake were read out one by one before the gardens’ peace bells were sounded, Xinhua reported.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel spoke of the need to acknowledge those still experiencing trauma after the quake.

“But we must acknowledge there are still many people who have unanswered questions,” she said.

“People with unresolved insurance claims, people who are still living in the houses that were damaged five years ago. None of them with any certainty of when they will find closure.”

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The city,largest in south island, has been a construction site ever since, where some severely damaged buildings of centuries old were cordoned off and remained the status the moment disaster hit, leaving the future generations a vivid image of history.

The new business zone is being put up at the same time around the city instilled with wounds and pride following a gradual reflux of population.

Some though felt frustrated over the pace of the rebuilding of the city infrastructure along with deteriorating security in some communities, the city has moved on amid a most recent 5.7 magnitude quake that hit the city on Valentine’s Day, fortunately without causing any casualties.

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