Wednesday, February 23, 2011


HUNDREDS TRAPPED UNDER DEBRIS IN CHRISTCHURCH - A 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked New Zealand on Tuesday, causing widespread damage and killing at least 75 people in one of the country’s worst natural disasters. The earthquake struck Christchurch, the country’s second largest city, around lunchtime when offices were occupied and stores and streets were bustling with people. Rescuers frantically scrambled to find hundreds people who were thought to be still trapped in the debris as darkness fell on the city Tuesday night. Dazed, screaming and crying residents were seen wandering through the streets. It was the second quake to hit the city of nearly 400,000 people in five months. There were no casualties in the 7.1 magnitude earthquake in September. Video footage showed multistory buildings that collapsed in ruins, crushed buses, and groups of people carrying blood-spattered victims onto makeshift stretchers.

The airport was closed and Christchurch Hospital was briefly evacuated before it was deemed safe and patients were allowed to return. Power and telephone lines were knocked out, and pipes burst, flooding some streets. “It’s just a scene of utter devastation,” Prime Minister John Key said. “We may well be witnessing New Zealand’s darkest day.” “There will be deaths, there will be a lot of injuries, there will be a lot of heartbreak in this city,” Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, who declared a state of emergency, told Australian TV.

Search and rescue staff from Christchurch said many people remain trapped alive inside buildings destroyed by the 6.3-magnitude earthquake Tuesday afternoon. Many people were confirmed alive in one building as rescuers tried to get to them as quickly as possible through tonnes of rubble. Earlier police said they had to leave bodies as they concentrated on getting to survivors, some of whom had to have limbs amputated to get them out of rubble. Quite often the material nature shows us its ugly face, so in this human form of human life, we must take the opportunity to put an end to the cycle of births and deaths by performing tapasya.

When a person is advanced in spiritual consciousness or Krishna consciousness, he naturally becomes very sympathetic toward all living entities suffering in the material world. Naturally such an advanced person thinks of the suffering of the people in general. ... If one is actually sympathetic to fallen, suffering humanity, he should try to elevate people from material consciousness to spiritual consciousness. ... The only benefit we can render to suffering beings is to try to raise them to spiritual consciousness. ... If one is at all sympathetic or able to do good to others, he should endeavor to raise people to Krishna consciousness. In this way everyone advances spiritually by the grace of the Lord. ... One should not give up his interest in attaining the favor of Lord Vishnu at any cost.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
“The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam”
Purport in Canto 5 “The Creative Impetus”
Chapter 8 - Verses 9 - 10.
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase

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