by JULIE-ANN SPENCE
Both pictures show the devastation after the collapse of The Pyne Gould Guinness building
HOPES are fading that a Lisburn woman who has been missing since an earthquake hit Christchurch in New Zealand 10 days ago will be found alive.
Mrs. Julie Wong, formerly Johnston, was born in Lisburn but emigrated to New Zealand five years ago with her husband, who is originally from England. The couple have a four-year-old son.
Mrs Wong, who is in her mid-thirties, worked in the financial services industry and is believed to have been in the Pyne Gould Guinness building at the time of the earthquake.
Mrs. Wong's parents still live in Northern Ireland.
New Zealand's second city was devastated when an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale hit the town last Tuesday (February 22). The death toll now stands at 161 but many more are feared dead, with rescue teams moving from a rescue to a recovery mission.
The Civil Defence national controller John Hamilton announced a shift from rescue to recovery "with considerable sorrow and frustration".
"We now face the reality that there is no chance that anyone could have survived for this long," he said.
Officials say the final toll could be as high as 240; the last person to be pulled alive from the rubble was found over a week ago, one day after the earthquake struck.
Workers at three major buildings - the Cathedral, the Grand Chancellor hotel and the Pyne Gould Guinness building, where Mrs. Wong was believed to have been at the time of the earthquake - were getting closer to bodies believed to be trapped inside.