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Thursday
Feb242011

Christchurch in State of Emergency, Les Mills Clubs Still Closed after Deadly Earthquake

The Christchurch Cathedral (pictured) was one of the many buildings badly damaged by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo: edwin.11)

Two Les Mills World of Fitness facilities are closed after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand. The earthquake occurred at roughly 1:00 PM local time on February 22 (7:00 PM ET on February 21).

"All of our people are okay and accounted for, which is the main thing," said Kate Porter, communications manager for Les Mills International.

"The Ferrymead facility is quite badly damaged by all accounts," Porter added. Les Mills World of Fitness Ferrymead is located on a peninsula in the south-east section of Christchurch. Another facility, located just a few blocks from the Christchurch Cathedral, suffered some floor damage.

Christchurch is New Zealand's second largest city and the largest on the country's South Island. It has a population of roughly 390,000, according to the government's population estimates.

The Christchurch Cathedral is located in Christchurch Central City, a popular neighborhood for tourists. Between 16 and 22 people died inside the cathedral, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Les Mills employees have not been able to even access the clubs to assess the damages, nevermind reopen for business. Each club has suspended their member's monthly payments. They've also set up a hotline that members can call to be notified when the club reopens.

As of February 23, Christchurch is still in a state of emergency, according to Porter. "It really is very dire down there."

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