New Zealand Police say 92 bodies have so far been recovered from the Christchurch earthquake zone but warn the death toll will climb and includes foreign nationals.
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck New Zealand on February 22 and caused catestrophic damage to much of the city of Christchurch and surrounding areas.
Local police said the death toll is now at 98 with 226 people reported as missing and rescue and recovery operations continuing.
The first four victims to be named are:
Joseph Tehau Pohio, 40, of Christchurch
Jaime Robert McDowell Gilbert, 22, of Christchurch
Jayden Harris, 9 months, of Christchurch
Baxter Gowland, 5 months of Christchurch.
Among the missing are staff who work for the United States Antarctic Program(USAP)in Christchurch, 21 Chinese nationals, and citizens of Japan, Thailand and other Asian countries. Two people from Ireland have been reported dead.
The U.S. Mission in New Zealand has established a dedicated email address (email@example.com) for those both seeking information, or providing information, about the welfare and whereabouts of U.S. citizens in Christchurch.
Search and rescue operations are continuing in New Zealand, with Prime Minister John Key saying police expect the toll to be around 200 people. Mr Key said early estimates were the earthquake could cost the nation NZ$16 billion.
(C) NewsRoom America 2011