28/02/2011

Co Antrim Feared Dead In NZ Quake

An NI woman is still missing in New Zealand after last week's devastating earthquake in the city of Christchurch.

The Co Antrim-born woman, who is originally from Lisburn, has been named as Julie Wong, (formerly Johnston).

She is in her mid 30s and emigrated to New Zealand where she has been living with her husband and son, aged 4, for the last five years. Her husband is originally from England.

Mrs Wong worked in the financial services industry and is believed to have been in the now devastated Pyne Gould Guinness building at the time of the earthquake.

Prayers were said in Presbyterian churches across Northern Ireland for the mother of one on Sunday night as Mrs Wong has not been seen since the tremor, 6.3 in magnitude, hit the south island city last week.

The death toll has reached 148 - but with around 200 people still missing that number is expected to rise.

Officials believe up to 22 bodies may lie beneath the rubble of Christchurch Cathedral alone and as many as 120 are thought to have been killed inside the collapsed CTV office block, including Japanese, Chinese and Philippine nationals.

The funerals have begun of those who died.

(BMcC)

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