Rescue shifts to recovery
I NTERNATIONAL rescue crews have begun pulling out of Christchurch after emerge n c y o p e r a t i o n s i n t h e stricken city shifted from f i n d i n g e a r t h q u a k e s u r - vivors to recovering bodies.
More than 140 personnel from Australia were being withdrawn but Canberra w a s s e n d i n g a n e w contingent to replace them.
The death toll stood at 163 yesterday, after rescue crews f o u n d t wo mo r e b o d i e s among the debris on Thursday night.
But there was a little solace for the shattered city as New Zealand officials said they expected the final death toll to be ‘‘ in excess of 200’’, down from previous estimates of 240 and 220.