A LOCAL woman who is living in New Zealand had a lucky escape when the building she was working in collapsed and trapped some of her colleagues after a 6.3 earthquake struck Christchurch.
Angela Mullin, a journalist from Blackrock, was working on the ground floor of a building behind Christchurch Cathedral when the earthquake rocked the city centre at 1pm local time (midnight Irish time) yesterday (Tuesday, February 22).
Speaking to The Dundalk Democrat, Angela’s father, Michael Mullin, said Angela rushed out of the building when the top floor collapsed trapping her workmates who had to be rescued by emergency services.
“She stood in the doorway at first and then rushed to an open square where her boyfriend collected her. The two of them went out to the suburbs because the whole city centre was cordoned off,” said Michael.
“She was very lucky. Her workmates were trapped inside the building. Thankfully, no-one was killed and the emergency services have managed to rescue them all from the rubble.
“The spire of the Cathedral, which is in front of her building, collapsed too. The damage is terrible. At the moment officials think 65 are dead but the toll is climbing all the time.”
Michael added: “There had been no warning about the earthquake. An amateur forecaster had predicted one, but people had dismissed the claims. This earthquake wasn’t as strong as the last one but the structure of the buildings must have been weakened from previous quakes and aftershocks.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs has said it is urgently liaising with New Zealand officials to establish whether any Irish people are involved. Anyone with concerns regarding family or friends can contact the department 01-4180222, and register details online on its travel registration system.
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