Jacinda Ardern leads tributes on New Zealand quake anniversary

CHRISTCHURCH (HRNW) – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern paid tribute to victims of the Christchurch earthquake Monday as New Zealand paused to mark the 10th anniversary of the disaster that claimed 185 lives.

Thousands gathered at a memorial service in the South Island city and marked a minute’s silence at 12:51 pm (2351 Sunday GMT), the precise time the shallow 6.3-magnitude quake hit.

Ardern said it was a moment that changed everything in the city of 400,000.

“The toll could not have been more significant, and daily reminders made it harder — a fractured landscape, aftershocks, struggling friends and neighbours, and children with deep and unseen scars,” she said.

“Ten years on there will be people still living their daily lives with the long shadow of that day.”

The seismic jolt crumpled office buildings, crushing dozens of people, and sent shop awnings tumbling down into pedestrians who moments before had been enjoying a lunchtime stroll.

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