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Christchurch marks 2nd anniversary of deadly quake

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February 22, 2013 01:15 AM EST | AP


CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — The New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday marked the second anniversary of an earthquake that destroyed thousands of homes and killed 185 people.

Several hundred people gathered for a memorial service in Latimer Square, near where 115 died when a six-story office building collapsed during the magnitude-6.1 quake. Others placed flowers in road cones or tossed them into the Avon River to commemorate those who died.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister John Key focused on rebuilding efforts. He said he understands there's frustration at the time it's taking to get homes rebuilt, but that in a few years, Christchurch will be "one of the best and most livable cities in the world."

People around New Zealand observed two minutes' silence at 12:51 p.m., the time the quake struck.