98 confirmed dead in Christchurch quake
Ninety-eight people were confirmed dead in the Christchurch earthquake, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said on Thursday, adding that hopes were fading fast for many more believed trapped, DPA reported.
Police are yet to release details of the missing, but Key said in an interview on Television New Zealand that 226 people had been reported missing or are believed trapped. It remained unclear how many of them were among the bodies recovered.
"The indications we're getting from the police ... is that the loss of life could be more substantial than anyone of us had ever dreamed of," Key said.
The 6.3-magnitude quake struck at 12:51 pm Tuesday (2351 GMT Monday), when office buildings and streets were full of people.