Salvation Army appeals for donations after Christchurch earthquake kills 65

At least 65 people have been confirmed dead in the quake, which has struck just months after a 7.0-magnitude tremor damaged two-thirds of the city’s 160,000 homes in September, although miraculously no one was killed.

The Salvation Army New Zealand's national fundraising coordinator Major Robbie Ross said the region had suffered terribly since September and that a tremendous effort would be required to help those already affected practically and psychologically by the last earthquake.

“Our experience with the September quake showed us the great emotional shock such an event can have on people – and now there is the added dimension of some people grieving for loved ones,” he said.

The Salvation Army New Zealand is appealing to Christians to give what they can and pray for the people of Christchurch.

Major Ross said: “There will be a myriad of material needs by those who have lost possessions and homes. We are appealing for cash donations to strengthen our response.”

As rescue workers rush to free people trapped under the rubble, it is feared that tourists inside Christchurch Cathedral were killed when its tower collapsed.

Peter Beck, Dean of Christchurch Cathedral said: “We ask you to pray for the people of Christchurch as we try to deal with this.”

Defence Secretary Liam Fox said the UK was ready to offer any help to New Zealand.

He told the BBC: “Any help the UK can give, we will do that. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Christchurch today.”

To donate to The Salvation Army New Zealand’s appeal visit: :// specifying ‘Canterbury Earthquake Appeal’