Photo taken on Feb. 22, 2017 shows a rose in a ceremony commemorating the 185 dead in the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. New Zealand's second city marked the sixth anniversary Wednesday of the quake that killed 185 people with the unveiling of a memorial to the dead. (Xinhua/Sammy Zhu)
WELLINGTON, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's second city marked the sixth anniversary Wednesday of the quake that killed 185 people with the unveiling of a memorial to the dead.
The memorial, designed by Slovenian architect Grega Vezjak, featured a 112-metre-long wall made up of a 517 marble panels, on the south bank of the Avon River, which runs through central Christchurch.
The names of those who died were engraved on the wall and were read out at 12:51 p.m. (local time), the exact time the 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit.
After a minute's silence, representatives from 13 nations directly affected by the quake laid a wreath, alongside representatives of organizations involved in the rescue and recovery.
More than 700 people including Prime Minister Bill English, Governor General Patsy Reddy and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel attended the service, with more than 3,000 members of the public watching from outside, Radio New Zealand reported.
Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Gerry Brownlee said the unveiling of the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial provided those who lost a family member or friend with a dedicated place to remember and reflect.
"It honours the 185 people who lost their lives, acknowledges those who were seriously injured and pays tribute to everyone involved in the rescue and recovery operation," Brownlee said in a statement.
Most of the 185 people killed in the quake died when the central city CTV building collapsed and caught fire.
The 115 CTV victims included 64 Asian students studying at an English language school.