Christchurch faces rebuild

HIGH-rise buildings destroyed by the massive earthquake that struck Christchurch in New Zealand are likely to be rebuilt on the outskirts of the central business district to protect against further devastation.

Business leaders say the city centre may have to be completely rebuilt, but it would not make sense to reconstruct it on the same spot where buildings were decimated by the 6.3 magnitude quake.

Peter Townsend, chief executive of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, said he expected the centre to become a more park-like environment, with higher commercial buildings moved to the city perimeter.

Early estimates suggest the damage bill could climb to NZ$12bn (£5.6bn).

Yesterday, as the death toll reached 147, including four Britons, thousands attended services to pay their respects to the dead.