New Zealand Miracle: Woman Saved After Spending 27 Hours Under Earthquake Rubble

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A rescue worker looks for signs of life in the rubble of the CTV building in central Christchurch February 23, 2011 (REUTERS / Simon Baker)

New Zealand rescuers pulled out a woman alive who had been trapped in rubble for over 24 hours after a massive 6.3 Christchurch earthquake left at least 75 people dead on Tuesday.

(More on TIME.comRead more about the intial reports from the disaster.)

Ann Bodkin was rescued from the collapsed Pyne Gould Corporation building in the early afternoon, approximately 27 hours after the earthquake struck the city. She had been trapped under her desk, and luckily, had no injuries.

Originally, rescuers thought Bodkin was another victim, an Australian woman named Ann Voss, who has been in contact with people under the rubble on her cell phone. Voss, however, has not been found. Approximately 300 people remain missing on Wednesday as rescuers continue their work.

(More on NewsFeedRead about more about the recent Christchurch earthquake.)

It took three hours for rescuers to reach Bodkin through the debris of the four-story building, guided by her tapping through a wall. Her husband was waiting next to the debris when they managed to pull her out. “I was told to get myself down here because she was asking for me. I didn’t break any speed limits but I got here pretty quickly,” he told Shepparton News.

(More on TIME.comSee pictures of the earthquake damage in Christchurch.)

Yesterday’s earthquake comes close on the heels of another major quake in Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island just five months ago. Though that earthquake, which struck near dawn in September, was stronger, no one was killed; the high number of fatalities in this week’s unfolding tragedy have been attributed to the fact that it occurred in the late morning on a weekday.

The September earthquake is estimated to have caused over $3 billion in damages. There is no official figure yet about the cost of this week’s disaster, but New Zealand Prime Minister’s estimates that it will be at least another $3 billion in damages, while Australian companies are estimating the final tally will be closer to $12 billion.

(More on TIME.comSee pictures of the damage from the September 2010 Christchurch earthquake.)

New Zealand’s deadliest earthquake was the Hawke’s Bay earthquake in 1931. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake killed 256 people on the nation’s North Island. The more recent Christchurch earthquake happened along a fault line that was previously unknown until recently.