| GEO World|
NZ city braces for more destruction after quake
| Updated at: 0849 PST, Sunday, September 05, 2010|
CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand braced for more destruction Sunday as aftershocks and an approaching storm threatened an area of the country hit by the most devastating earthquake in decades.
Prime Minister John Key said it was "a miracle" no one had died when the major 7.0 magnitude quake wreaked more than a billion dollars of damage on the nation's second-biggest city of Christchurch.
Civil defence officials warned that ongoing aftershocks with magnitudes of up to 5.4, coupled with a ferocious storm blowing in could threaten already-weakened buildings.
Despite widespread damage, none of the city's 340,000-strong population died when the quake struck before dawn Saturday.
"The only conclusion you can draw is that it's a miracle nobody was killed," Key said as he surveyed the devastation.
"Parts of the city look like they've been put in the tumble dryer and been given a darn good shake."
Central Christchurch remained cordoned off Sunday although most of the power, water and sewage facilities that were cut in the earthquake had been restored.