Christchurch Lifts Emergency State 12 Days After New Zealand Earthquake

A state of emergency in Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island has been lifted 12 days after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the nation’s second-largest city.

“We are now moving from a state of emergency to a state of urgency,” Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said in a statement today. The city would be “transferring from a civil defense situation and back closer to business as usual,” he said.

The emergency status in surrounding Selwyn and Waimakariri districts was also lifted, according to statements on their websites.

The Sept. 4 earthquake, New Zealand’s worst in 80 years, destroyed hundreds of buildings, cut power and closed Christchurch’s central business district. The government this week passed laws to ensure rebuilding efforts aren’t slowed by bureaucracy when the state of emergency was lifted.

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