New Zealand was rocked early Saturday morning by a massive earthquake which is being called the worst of the decade. This 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the town of Christchurch, on the South Island, at 4:35am and will severely set back economic recovery efforts.
Right after the quake, Prime Minister John Key announced a donation of $5 million to a fund set up by Mayor Bob Parker aimed at rebuilding the area. The total cost to rebuild the city is around $2 billion and another $1 billion will be allocated by the Earthquake Commission to over 100,000 households that suffered damages. 15,000 claims have already been filed.
“There will be considerable disruption to the (regional) and national economy in the short term,” Prime Minister John Key said but is confident that activity should pick up as reconstruction gains momentum. After fighting off 18 months of recession, New Zealand’s economy has recorded two quarters of small growth.
Here comes the best part of this story. Even though the earthquake has severely damaged the city, the most astonishing thing is that no one died. How’s that for luck?