The official death toll has risen to 75 following the 6.3 aftershock that rocked Christchurch at 12h50 on 22 February 2011.
The shallow aftershock which was centered near Christchurch's port of Lyttelton caused much more damage than the 7.1 earthquake that shook the city awake on the early hours of 4 September leaving rubble in the place of several historic buildings and sending dust, glass, bricks and rocks flying.
At least 75 deaths have been officially reported, and hundreds have been injured by falling masonry and glass. Several hundred people are feared trapped in the debris in the central city. Rescue attempts are underway but is expected to take days to complete according to the latest NZ Civil Defence update.
The NZ Herald reports that about 300 people are still reported missing. The online report quotes Christchurch's mayor, Bob Parker as saying:
"With those 300 missing people could just be someone called up saying so and so is missing - they may have just left town."