Most people seem to have found a place to go tonight. There are several welfare centres. People from the city centre gathered in nearby Hagley Park. This park had marques and buildings being prepared for the Ellerslie Flower Show which begins in two weeks. There are about 1500 people there and the army is organising blankets. It won't be a comfortable night and the aftershocks keep coming.
Many of these people are tourists who cannot go to their accommodation and only have what they took with them on their day out sight seeing.
It's hoped to open the airport tomorrow, probably a limited number of flights. The earthquake disrupted all flights to and around NZ and there are many people stuck in airports around the country.
It is thought there may be 200 or more people trapped in buildings in the Central City and there are officially 65 dead.
Specialist urban search people are at work. With help from Australia there will be 200 searchers tomorrow morning.
I'm pleased to say all our immediate family are safe. Our city son has quite a lot of damage to his house and liquefaction bogged their cars. Wayne is not able to go to work at this point and the job he would be doing will be down to the police Navy and Army who, by coincidence were in the area. I understand there are about 500 military personnel available. There was also a medical conference in the city. 200 extra Doctors are now helping. The city is virtually closed down.
Medical services seem to be well organised. It helped that the Christchurch hospital was not seriously affected and has been able to continue taking casualties while some are being medivac'ed out to other hospitals.
Searching will continue through the night. There is now rain to complicate things.
It's terrible and very sad to see this beautiful city going through tragedy.
TV is keeping us well informed and we will need to turn it off soon or we will never sleep tonight.
Our eldest son lives in the country and while they experienced the earthquake they had no damage. We'll contact John's cousin tomorrow night to see how his family are and hopefully he'll have news of other family members.