More international help arrives

8:12 am on 24 February 2011

Specialist search and rescue teams from the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom are due to arrive in Christchurch on Thursday.

Twenty-four personnel from Taiwan and 71 from Singapore arrived on Wednesday night to join the emergency response to Tuesday's 6.3-magnitude earthquake.

Another 116 Singaporean military personnel had already been sent to Christchurch to provide general assistance and support the Defence Force.

Among those arriving on Thursday will be a 70-strong disaster relief team from Japan.

The team includes coastguard officials, firefighters, police, doctors and nurses and is being deployed at the request of the New Zealand Government.

There are grave fears for ten Japanese students who were at a language school in the collapsed Canterbury Television building.

Toyama College of Foreign Languages says it has been frustrated by a lack of information about the students but it still holds out hope for them and would like to see the Japanese team involved in searching at the site.

An Australian contingent from New South Wales and Queensland were working in the city on Wednesday and an Australian disaster medical team of 21, including doctors, nurses and surgeons, arrived late on Wednesday night.

Some 300 Australian police will arrive on Friday to work on cordons, bringing the number of overseas specialists in Christchurch to 747.