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February 23, 2011

Christchurch earthquake

With hundreds still missing, and 75 already confirmed dead, rescuers struggled to find survivors on the second night after a devastating earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand's second largest city Tuesday. Buildings crumbled into the streets after the 6.3 magnitude earthquake, which geologists consider an aftershock to a 7.1 earthquake that caused no casualties in September. Tuesday’s temblor was more devastating and deadly because it was centered only six miles from the city's center and hit during the middle of a workday. The Government has declared a national state of emergency. Officials estimated there could be 100 people trapped in the CTV building alone. -- Lane Turner (36 photos total)

The 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck in the early afternoon Tuesday in Christchurch, prompting New Zealanders to flee into the streets as others rushed to the collapsed buildings in attempts to rescue those trapped in the rubble. (Iain McGregor/Christchurch Press/Reuters)

Workers and police converge on the rubble of the CTV building in Christchurch Tuesday to seek victims. The building had housed the King's Education School; the quake struck in the middle of the school day. As many as 23 Japanese students at the language school were believed to be trapped, according to the Associated Press. (Carys Monteath/Christchurch Press/Reuters) #

A man dies on the street, his wife holding his hand. [Editor's Note: this picture has been removed.](Richard Cosgrove/Christchurch Press/Reuters) #

As workers assist an injured man, rescuers carefully seek other victims in the rubble Tuesday along Manchester Street in Christchurch. (Martin Hunter/Getty Images) #

Rescuers search for survivors in a collapsed building along Manchester Street minutes after the quake struck. This scene was repeated in pockets of destruction throughout Christchurch. By Wednesday, about 120 people around the city had been pulled alive from the rubble. Hundreds remained missing. (Martin Hunter/Getty Images) #

With emergency services overwhelmed by the disaster, a group uses an SUV to rush an injured man to the hospital after being rescued from a collapsed building on Manchester Street Tuesday. (Martin Hunter/Getty Images) #

Rescuers help an injured woman from the remains of the Pyne Gould Guinness Corp. building in Christchurch Tuesday. The top three floors of the four-story building collapsed. (Richard Cosgrove/Christchurch Press/Reuters) #

Part of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Christchurch lies in ruin. (David Wethey/NZPA/Associated Press) #

Buildings crumbled into the streets after the 6.3 magnitude earthquake, which geologists consider an aftershock to a 7.1 earthquake that caused no casualties in September. Tuesday’s temblor was more devastating and deadly because it was centered only six miles from the city's center and hit during the middle of a workday. (Martin Hunter/Getty Images) #

A man retrieves his bike from the remains of a building in Christchurch Tuesday. (Martin Hunter/Getty Images) #

Debris partially buries a car in a parking garage Tuesday in Christchurch. (Martin Hunter/Getty Images) #

Patients are evacuated from a health clinic Tuesday in Christchurch. (New Zealand Herald/Associated Press) #

In a video image from New Zealand's TVNZ, men carry a wounded man after he is pulled from the rubble. “They are trapped in cars, crushed under rubble and, where they are clearly deceased, our focus unfortunately at this time has turned to the living,” the city’s police superintendent, Russell Gibson, told Radio New Zealand Wednesday. “We are getting texts and tapping sounds from some of these buildings, and that’s where our focus is at the moment.” (TVNZ via Associated Press Television News) #

Water inundated Bexley, a suburb of Christchurch, after the force of the earthquake pushed thousands of gallons of water and silt into the streets. (Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald/Associated Press) #

Cars became stuck in the mud Tuesday in the Christchurch suburb of Bexley. (Brett Phibbs/AFP/Getty Images) #

Rescuers pull a woman from the rubble Tuesday in Christchurch. Around the city, New Zealand's second largest, some victims emerged unscathed from the rubble, while emergency workers had to amputate the limbs of others to free them, the city’s police superintendent, Russell Gibson, told Radio New Zealand. (Iain McGregor/Christchurch Press/Reuters) #

Debris and dust envelop a Christchurch tram Tuesday. (Martin Hunter/Getty Images) #

The facade of a building has crushed a car in Christchurch Tuesday. (Kirk Hargreaves/Christchurch Press/Reuters) #

Collapsed and severely damaged buildings fill the center of Christchurch Tuesday. Mayor Bob Parker declared a state of emergency and ordered the evacuation of the center. “I think we need to prepare ourselves in this city for a death toll that could be significant. It’s not going to be good news, and we need to steel ourselves to understand that,” he said. (Mark Mitchell/AFP/Getty Images) #

The collapsed Pyne Gould Guinness building trapped dozens of people. “We’ve been pulling 20 or 30 people out of those buildings right throughout the night,” police Superintendent Russell Gibson said Wednesday morning. (Mark Mitchell/AFP/Getty Images) #

Workers attempt to extinguish a fire at the collapsed building of King's Education School, where a group of Japanese students are reportedly trapped. (Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald/Associated Press) #

Rescue workers carry an injured person in Christchurch. (David Wethey/NZPA/Associated Press) #

Rescue workers search for victims in a destroyed building in Christchurch. More than 400 rescue workers were joining the search, including teams from Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, the United States, and Britain. (David Wethey/NZPA/Associated Press) #

The earthquake caused several icebergs to collapse into Tasman Lake. (Denis Callesen/NZPA/Associated Press) #

A group examines one of the many icebergs that calved into Tasman Lake as a result of the 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch Tuesday. (Denis Callesen/NZPA/Associated Press) #

A schoolgirl cries in Christchurch Tuesday. (REUTERS/Christchurch Press/Iain McGregor) #

Office workers look for a way out of a high-rise building in central Christchurch Tuesday. (Simon Baker/Reuters) #

Moments after being pulled from the rubble, a man is comforted. (Iain McGregor /Christchurch Press/Reuters) #

Using everything from heavy machinery to bare hands and search dogs, rescuers worked through a rainy night late Tuesday and early Wednesday in search of survivors in Christchurch. (Brett Phibbs/New Zealand Herald/Associated Press) #

Emergency teams comb the rumble for survivors of the collapsed CTV building, which housed the King's Education School in Christchurch. Parts of the city of 350,000 people lay in ruins after Tuesday's quake; the confirmed death toll Wednesday was 75, but officials said it was sure to climb. (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Brett Phibbs) #

Survivors shelter together in Christchurch Tuesday night. (REUTERS/Christchurch Press/Don Scott) #

A fuel tanker sits abandoned and blocked by fallen rubble on a main road between Lyttelton township and Christchurch Wednesday. (AP Photo/Sarah Ivey) #

Rescue workers pull people out of a building Wednesday. (REUTERS/Christchurch Press/Carys Monteath) #

Two men celebrate after being pulled out from a destroyed building in Christchurch Wednesday 24 hours after the earthquake. (REUTERS/Christchurch Press/John Kirk-Anderson) #

Kent Manning (left) and his sister Libby react with their father, who asked not to identified, after they were told by police that there was no hope of finding Kent and Libby's mother alive in a collapsed building Wednesday. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith) #

Murray and Kelly James look at their destroyed house in central Christchurch Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) #