New Zealanders gather to remember earthquake dead - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

New Zealanders gather to remember earthquake dead

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- New Zealanders are gathering in the thousands to remember the 185 people who died in a devastating earthquake one year ago in the city of Christchurch.

They listened to speeches and music at an afternoon service in Christchurch's North Hagley Park on the anniversary of the magnitude-6.1 quake. New Zealanders are being asked to observe two minutes of silence at 12:51 p.m., when the quake struck.

Earlier, a memorial for the families of those who died was held in Christchurch's Latimer Square.

The flag at Parliament buildings in Wellington is flying at half mast.

Much of downtown Christchurch was destroyed in the quake and thousands of residents lost their homes. The government has estimated the cost of the quake at about 30 billion dollars ($25 billion).

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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