The jackhammers fell silent, church bells pealed and a Maori lament filled the air as New Zealand came to a standstill
to mourn the estimated 240 people killed in an earthquake one week ago.
Flags were flown half-mast and people gathered in groups in cities and towns to bow their heads for two minutes of silence at 12:51pm on Tuesday, the moment when the quake hit Christchurch on February 22.
The hundreds of rescue and recovery workers in the shattered city of 350,000, who have been rummaging through the wreckage non-stop since the quake struck, turned their faces faces to the sky or the ground.
Al Jazeera's Veronica Pedrosa reports.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies