Editorial: Prayers go to families after quake

THE worst fears of at least two Irish families have now been confirmed in the wake of the New Zealand earthquake. For several others, the terrifying anxiety continues as they wait for news of loved ones still missing.

Amid all the heartbreak there are miraculous stories emerging. Families will take hope from news of people being pulled safely from the rubble more than 24 hours later. Irish citizens too are among the heroes of the rescue effort.

Communication to the area is severely hampered as relatives and friends try to get in touch by text, by phone and by any means possible.

Ireland has very strong connections with New Zealand with more than 1,000 Irish nationals living in Christchurch alone.

We offer our sympathies to the bereaved and as the anxious wait continues, our thoughts are with those still missing and their families.