Escape from deadly quake
A TWEED man is relieved to have heard his son is safe and well following a devastating 6.3-magnitude earthquake which has killed at least 65 people in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Wal Smith received a call from a concerned friend yesterday notifying him of the disaster.
His son Graham Smith was in Christchurch on a cricket tour when the earthquake struck.
Thankfully, he was unharmed. He has been moved to accommodation outside the city CBD.
“We looked at the television and saw so many buildings and hotels damaged,” Mr Smith said.
“We’re very relieved to hear he is okay.”
Mr Smith said his son’s cricket game had been cancelled that morning due to rain, and the team had to be evacuated from their hotel.
“They’ve had to get all of their belongings out of the hotel and moved to new accommodation,” he said.
“They were supposed to fly back into Brisbane airport, but I guess that won’t happen now.”
The Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta yesterday advised passengers that as a result of the closure of Christchurch International Airport, the scheduled inbound Jetstar flight from Christchurch due to arrive at 4pm had been cancelled.
The outbound service from the Gold Coast to Christchurch had also been cancelled.
The earthquake struck 20km south-east of Christchurch at 12.51pm yesterday.
Authorities believed the death toll would continue to rise as the debris was cleared.
Evacuations were under way in the city yesterday, with emergency services warning of the likelihood of further aftershocks.
Grave concerns are held for people trapped under collapsed buildings.
NSW has pledged to send 73 emergency service specialists to New Zealand.