CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND – Relatives of Japanese victims of the 2011 earthquake that killed 185 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, attended a memorial service in the city Sunday marking the fourth anniversary.
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel paid respects to the victims in a speech at the ceremony in the city’s Botanic Gardens. More than 1,000 participants observed a minute of silence at 12:51 p.m., the time the quake struck on Feb. 22, 2011.
Twenty-eight Japanese students at a language school in the Canterbury Television Building died when it collapsed.
“It has already been four years, and it has only been four years,” said Kazuo Horita, 60, one of six Japanese relatives to attend the event. He lost his daughter, Megumi, 19, in the disaster.
Horita, from Toyama, said he still hopes local police will press charges over the CTV building collapse, which claimed the lives of 115 people. Police have launched a criminal investigation after the six-story building was found not to have been up to construction standards.
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