New Zealand Earthquake Casts Doubt On Race

Galen Rupp had hoped to go for an American record there.

Galen Rupp had hoped to go for an American record there.

A powerful, 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the town of Christchurch, New Zealand on Tuesday. According to eyewitness reports, the damage is severe with entire buildings knocked down and fallen debris burying survivors.

Mayor Bob Parker ordered an evacuation of the city’s center. “Make no mistake this is going to be a very black day for this shaken city,” he said.

One of the city’s landmarks, the Christchurch Cathedral, suffered extensive damage.

This tragic news is relevant to the running world, because the city was to host the ITM (International Track Meet), where Americans Galen Rupp and Alan Webb were expected to compete on February 26. Rupp planned to run the 10,000m, going for Chris Solinsky’s American record (26:59), while Webb was hoping to compete in the 800m event.

According to a report posted on the BBC’s Web site, 65 people have been killed thus far. Over 120 people have been rescued from the city’s ruins.

Last September, Christchurch suffered a 7.1-magnitude earthquake. However, that quake only caused minor damage and no fatalities.

For More: BBC