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Christchurch earthquake: 65 people dead in 'New Zealand's darkest day' - Telegraph200px-NZ_fern.jpgA major earthquake in the New Zealand city of Christchurch has left at least 65 people dead, hundreds more injured and toppled buildings in what the prime minister has described as "New Zealand's darkest day".

My thoughts go out to our kith and kin. It is a small community, everyone will be affected.
Most of my family and personal friends are North Islanders so are probably safe but the whole nation are our friends, friends our politicians have shamefully abused. My thoughts and hopes are with them.

(The NZ fern leaf is part of the insignia of The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry)


Yes, it looks very bad. But we'll all contribute what we can. 65 is a huge number in a small country, and the final toll will certainly be higher. We're safely far from this one, but if my younger daughter hadn't been ill, she'd have been at uni in CHCH today. I still have pictures taken a year ago from the steeple of the cathedral on my phone - it's a sobering reminder of the random overwhelming power of nature.

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