NZ Rescuers Refusing to Give Up Hope

Search for quake survivors joined by teams from around the world
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2011 1:00 AM CST
Rescue workers search for victims buried under the rubble near the Canterbury Television building in Christchurch, New Zealand.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News, Shuzo Shikano)
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(Newser) – Hopes are fading for the hundreds of people still missing after Tuesday's devastating earthquake in Christchurch but rescue teams are continuing to comb the ruins. Exhausted New Zealand rescuers have been joined by hundreds of specialists sent by countries around the world, including the US and Japan, the BBC reports. The death toll from the country's worst natural disaster in 80 years now stands at 98 and officials say it is certain to rise.

Police say 226 people are missing, up to 120 of them at a single site which has been deemed "unsurvivable." High-tech equipment and sniffer dogs have been used to comb dangerously unstable ruins over an expanded area but no survivors have been found since yesterday afternoon. Rescuers, however, are refusing to give up hope. "Miracles happen and we're keeping that in the forefront of our minds. That sort of thing drives you and pushes you on," a rescue official tells Reuters.

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