+ New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management has put the confirmed death toll from Tuesday’s magnitude-6.
3 earthquake at 76, but says this figure is expected to rise.
+ Police say 238 people are still missing.
+ Health authorities say 164 people were admitted to hospital as a direct result of the quake overnight, with a lot of major crush injuries, head and neck injuries, spinal injuries and broken bones.
+ Rescuers have given up all hope of finding any more survivors in the rubble of Christchurch’s flattened Canterbury TV building.
+ Up to 120 people may have been trapped in the CTV building, including a group of young Japanese language students.
+ Earlier today, there was a glimmer of hope after a report of a sign of someone alive inside the CTV building. Police dismissed earlier claims that more live rescues were under way, saying they had no confirmed information that any individuals were alive in the devastated CBD.
+ Another 20 people are feared missing the Pyne Gould Corporation (PGC) building.
+ Australian search and research teams have pulled four people – three women and one man – alive from the PGC building, and expect to find more in rubble today.
+ Elsewhere rescue efforts have been hampered by a two-block exclusion zone around the city’s tallest building, the Grand Chancellor Hotel, as the 26-storey building appears close to collapse.
+ Rescuers are widening their search for survivors to take in the whole of Christchurch.
+ The New Zealand and Australian rescue teams have been boosted by the arrival of experts from the UK, United States, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.
+ The highlight for Australian rescue crews was a six-hour rescue of Ann Bodkin from the PGC building on Wednesday.
+ The names of people killed are likely to start being released soon, Prime Minister John Key says.
+ With 71 confirmed dead and the toll expected to rise, Key urged people to be realistic about the prospect of finding survivors after the country’s deadliest natural disaster in 80 years.
+ Australian consular officials now have concerns for only one Australian they have been unable to locate, but the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is still warning that more Australian fatalities are possible.
+ As at 0400 on Thursday (0200 AEDT), there were at least 34 aftershocks greater than magnitude-4 and three aftershocks above magnitude-5. GNS Science advises that there may be more magnitude-5 or greater aftershocks in the next few days.
+ Central Christchurch remains cordoned off with a nighttime curfew in place.
+ Power, telecommunications and essential services continue to be disrupted, with up to 80 per cent of Christchurch lacking water.