Monday, February 28, 2011

YouTube Video: Four LDS Sister Missionaries Share Their Experiences Of The February 22nd Christchurch New Zealand 6.3 Earthquake

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' regional website for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands discloses the existence of a video showing four LDS sister missionaries discussing their experiences of the 6.3 "aftershock" in Christchurch, New Zealand which took place on February 22nd, 2011. While classified as an "aftershock", the effects have been more severe and widespread than the original 7.0 September 2010 earthquake.

The missionaries are identified as Sister Geraline Fafai and Sister Evelyn Tepa, both from Brisbane, Australia; Sister Taake Moantau from Tarawa, Kiribati; and Sister Emily Wu from Taipei, Taiwan. All four young women had been serving in Christchurch, but since the quake have been re-assigned to other parts of the Wellington New Zealand Mission. One of the missionaries noted that she missed a local bus she normally took; that bus turned out to be the bus upon which a building partially fell. All other LDS missionaries in New Zealand were found to be safe and accounted for shortly after the quake struck:

The LDS Church's New Zealand website also discloses that there have been no deaths or life threatening injuries reported for any Church members. Approximately 30 Latter-day Saint families have been displaced from their homes. Families are living with friends or extended family members. Some have left Christchurch due to trauma or home damage. LDS Church Physical Facilities Department personnel report that all four LDS chapels in the local area have suffered major structural damage in addition to some degree of liquefaction occurring in and around some of the buildings. None of the four chapels in Christchurch will be used until further notice and further engineering evaluation. The Church College of New Zealand campus is being made available to members and those not of our faith for respite accommodation

The New Zealand Herald continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative local source for media stories on the earthquake. As of 6:13 A.M. on March 1st, New Zealand time, the death toll is now fixed at 154. A new forecast by GNS Science geological hazard modeller Matt Gerstenberger shows that in the next week Christchurch should expect between one and 10 aftershocks greater than magnitude four and within three weeks the number should drop to one magnitude four every three to four days. At least one magnitude-four quake per month is possible for the next 12 months. Buildings significantly weakened by previous quakes could fall. The Treasury's early estimate of the damage of the February 22nd earthquake is $10 billion to $15 billion; that's in addition to the $5 billion cost of the September 2010 quake, according to Prime Minister John Key.

A gallery of 88 photos is available HERE.

Information on how to donate to earthquake relief through the Red Cross available HERE.

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