New Zealand rescuers continued to pull survivors out of the rubble in Christchurch on Thursday as the death toll rose to at least 92. The city was left devastated on Tuesday after it was hit by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake.
REUTERS - International rescuers intensified their search for earthquake survivors in New Zealand on Thursday, despite fading hopes of finding any more people alive and fears a damaged 26-storey hotel tower could collapse and trigger a new disaster.
Teams from quake-prone countries such as Japan and the United States sent in sniffer dogs and lowered microphones into rubble to probe for signs of life, two days after a 6.3 magnitude quake struck the tourist city of Christchurch.
Around 2,500 people had been injured, 164 seriously.
Investment bank J.P. Morgan estimates the quake could cost insurers $12 billion, while catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide Estimates says the insurance industry faces claims of NZ$5 billion ($3.5 billion) to NZ$11.5 billion ($8 billion).
The quake could end up being the costliest disaster for the global insurance industry in nearly three years. It is not expected to be enough, however, to arrest a sharp multiyear decline in insurance and reinsurance pricing.
Date created : 2011-02-23