05 September, 2010
[hang nadim] Gempa terburuk di New Zealand....
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SEBUAH kereta peronda polis dan jentera bomba menyekat laluan di pusat bandar Christchurch yang tidak boleh dimasuki akibat gempa semalam.
CHRISTCHURCH - Bandar raya kedua terbesar di New Zealand diisytiharkan darurat oleh Datuk Bandarnya, Bob Parker selepas gempa bumi terkuat dalam sejarah melanda pulau selatan negara itu awal semalam.
Gegaran berukuran 7.4 pada skala Richter berlaku kira-kira pukul 4.35 pagi (11.35 malam kelmarin waktu Malaysia) dan dikesan di barat bandar raya yang didiami 340,000 penduduk itu, namun mujur tiada kemalangan jiwa dilaporkan setakat ini.
Pihak berkuasa menganggarkan nilai kerugian mencecah NZ$2 bilion (RM4.5 bilion) ekoran banyak kemusnahan harta benda dan bangunan termasuk prasarana awam selain bekalan elektrik, air dan talian telekomunikasi lumpuh sama sekali.
Jurucakap polis, Inspektor Mike Coleman berkata, pihaknya terpaksa menutup semua laluan ke pusat bandar itu selepas mendapati banyak kes curi dan pecah masuk susulan daripada gempa dahsyat selama 40 saat itu.
New Zealand yang terletak di Lingkaran Api Pasifik mengalami 15,000 gegaran kecil setiap tahun dan gempa terburuk pernah melanda negara Kiwi itu pada 1931 yang menyebabkan 256 orang terbunuh. - Agensi
Quake scare for Malaysians
By JOSHUA FOONG, ANDREA FILMER and ONG HAN SEAN
PETALING JAYA: Malaysian engineer Melvin Ho, was rudely awakened when he was thrown out of his bed during the massive 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“My first few minutes awake was quite an unnerving experience, the whole house was shaking violently and for a moment, I was just expecting the worst,” he told The Star yesterday.
While he has been in Christchurch for many years and earthquakes are quite common for Ho, he said he had never experienced anything of such magnitude.
Shaken: The University of Canterbury was closed after the earthquake yesterday, and Ho (inset) during less turbulent times in New Zealand. — Pix courtesy of MELVIN HO
“When the shaking eventually stopped, I dashed out of my room and yelled at my flatmates to see if they were okay,” said the 26-year-old.
“We have plenty of food in the house and the car is full of petrol, just in case we have to evacuate.”
Although the earthquake hit during the wee hours of the morning, Malaysian student Terence Soo, 23, was awake in his home in the 11am suburb, about 9km from the city centre.
“I was talking to my parents in Penang when suddenly there was a blackout and I could feel the house shaking.
“My housemates and I then ran out of our house,” said the fourth-year electrical engineering student at University of Canterbury.
His father, W.P. Soo, said he and his wife did not realise the gravity of the situation until about 8am (some eight hours after the earthquake) when friends started calling up to inform them about the earthquake.
“We called him back again, just to make sure he was fine,” he said.
The Star’s former journalist Hah Foong Lian, who is also studying at the university, said her bed shook so violently that “it felt like “Linda Blair’s bed in The Exorcist”.
New Zealand experiences more than 14,000 earthquakes a year.
The last fatal earthquake was in 1968, when a 7.1-magnitude tremor killed three people on the South Island’s western coast.
NZ quake: Malaysians tell their story
3,000 Malaysians including 800 students in NZ are safe