CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, March 7 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Civil Defense Minister John Carter on Monday has extended the state of national emergency for a further seven days in the aftermath of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch on Feb. 22.
The state of national emergency in New Zealand was declared on Feb. 23 and first extended on March 1. It is expected to continue for several more weeks, Carter said.
"This extension has been made on the advice of the Civil Defense Emergency Management National Controller John Hamilton, and in consultation with Prime Minister John Key, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and the Mayor of Christchurch City Bob Parker," Carter said in a statement.
This is the first time in New Zealand's history that a state of national emergency has been declared as a result of a civil defense emergency event, he said.
The ongoing impact of the earthquake on Feb. 22, and the continuing aftershocks, is of such an extent that a combined effort from across the nation will be required for some time, he added.
The official death toll of the Christchurch earthquake remained at 166 on Monday.