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International sympathy continues for Chch

Published: 9:44AM Wednesday February 23, 2011 Source: ONE News / Reuters

Foreign leaders and dignitaries are sending New Zealand and Prime Minister John Key condolences following Tuesday's 6.3 magnitude quake.

Pope sends a telegram

In a message from the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI is the latest to send condolences to New Zealand.

"At this time my thoughts turn especially to the people that are being severely tested by this tragedy. Let us ask God to relieve their suffering and to support all who are involved in the rescue operations. I also ask you to join me in praying for all who have lost their lives," he said.

The Vatican says a telegram was sent on Wednesday to Christchurch's bishop. It said the pontiff was saddened to learn of the sudden devastation and loss of life in Christchurch and that Pope Benedict is praying for those urgently working to free those who are trapped in rubble and for blessings of strength and courage for all New Zealanders.

Foreign leaders and dignitaries are sending New Zealand and Prime Minister John Key condolences following Tuesday's 6.3 magnitude quake.

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia

Australian PM Julia Gillard has expressed her condolences following Tuesday's earthquake, saying the nation will do anything it can to help Christchurch.

"As Australians are starting to go about their day this morning I know that their thoughts are with the people of New Zealand as they grapple with this enormous tragedy in Christchurch. It's obviously been a harrowing night in Christchurch for people. There have been aftershocks, and search and rescue efforts are underway to deal with people who are trapped in buildings. "

"There are media reports that there are around 100 people trapped in buildings and search and rescue efforts are trying to get to them..."

"This is a very, very difficult time for the people of New Zealand. It's also a very difficult time for Australians who are waiting for news. I think from the images people are seeing on their TV screens, they can get some understand of the conditions in Christchurch. There's a lot of damage. There's a lot of uncertainty about where people are in buildings. There are very dedicated search and rescue efforts underway to get to people."

"The people of New Zealand and Christchurch are pulling together to look after each other in evacuation centres, and certainly our officials are there to assist Australians and to get them through in these difficult and trying circumstances. "

"We will be doing everything we can to work with our New Zealand family, with Prime Minister Key and his emergency services personnel, his military officers, his medical people, his search and rescue teams. We will be working alongside them to give as much relief and assistance to New Zealand as we possibly can&"

President Obama sends thoughts and prayers

President Obama has released a statement extending his deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand.

"On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I extend our deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand and to the families and friends of the victims in Christchurch, which has suffered its second major earthquake in just six months," he said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those whose lives have been touched by this tragedy, especially as they search for their loved ones and work to recover from this disaster.

"The United States is a close friend and partner of New Zealand, as evidenced by the meeting of the U.S.-New Zealand Partnership Forum that was underway in Christchurch when the earthquake struck. To assist in the rescue and recovery efforts, we have agreed to deploy a U.S. Agency for International Development Disaster Assistance Response Team, including an Urban Search and Rescue Team, and we stand ready to provide more assistance as needed.

"As our New Zealand friends move forward, may they find some comfort and strength in knowing that they will have the enduring friendship and support of many partners around the world, including the United States."

On Thursday he also phoned Prime Minister John Key.

Clinton: Deeply saddened

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has sent her condolences to everyone affected by yesterday's destructive 6.3 earthquake, on behalf of President Barack Obama and the US people.

"I am deeply saddened by the news that a second major earthquake in six months has struck Christchurch," she said.

"The United States stands ready to provide assistance to the government of New Zealand and to the brave people of Christchurch. Our long history of friendship and mutual support in times of need is an example of our enduring bond.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, especially the families of the victims, and with all the people of New Zealand."

Meanwhile, a specialist Disaster Assistance Response Team (Dart) from the US is heading to Christchurch to help the search and rescue operation.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Dart team, is made up of more than 70 specialists, including members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department urban search and rescue team.
Commonwealth message of support

Commonwealth's Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma has sent a message of support to Prime Minister John Key following yesterday's destructive quake.

"We have learned with distress and profound concern of the earthquake and aftershocks that have so severely blighted Christchurch yet again," he said.

"Our hearts and condolences go immediately to the bereaved. Our encouragement and solidarity go to the emergency services and so many others who are striving to assist those in need.

"The thoughts and prayers of fellow Commonwealth citizens around the world are with the people of New Zealand, and the residents of Christchurch especially, at this time of tragedy and challenge."
Queen: Utterly shocked

Queen Elizabeth II has sent a message of condolence to Prime Minister John Key, following the Christchurch earthquake today, which has so far claimed the lives of at least 65 people.

"I have been utterly shocked by the news of another earthquake in Christchurch. Please convey my deep sympathy to the families and friends of those who have been killed; my thoughts are with all those who have been affected by this dreadful event," she said in a statement on her website.

"My thoughts are also with the emergency services and everyone who is assisting in the rescue efforts."

Prince of Wales: Horrified at news

The Prince of Wales and his wife have send condolences to Christchurch.

"My wife and I were horrified when we heard the news early this morning of a second major earthquake to hit an already damaged Christchurch. The scale of the destruction all but defies belief when we can appreciate only too well how difficult it must have been struggling to come to terms with last year's horror."

"At such a terrible time I realize that these words count for very little, but I did so want you to know immediately just how much we feel for all the families and friends of those who have so tragically lost their lives or are still missing. Our deepest sympathy and constant thoughts are with you and all New Zealanders at such an agonizing time for the whole country. "

"I was truly saddened to learn of the horrendous loss of life and damage that another earthquake has brought to the people of Christchurch. I join The Queen and The Prince of Wales in sending my deepest condolences and sympathy to those affected by this tragedy. I do so admire the bravery and commitment of all Cantabrians, particularly all those who, at this time, are working so hard to save the lives of others. It is particularly cruel that your famed resolve and strength is being tested again so soon. "

David Cameron: "Dark and difficult moment"

British Prime Minister David Cameron has also offered his condolences and support to the people of Christchurch.
"The people of NZ have been hit by a devastating earthquake, not once but twice in a matter of months and I want to pay tribute to their resilience, they have our deepest sympathies and condolences.

"I have been in touch with my good friend PM John Key. He knows that Britain stands ready to provide any assistance which is required in support of the local emergency services."

He said the British High Commissioner was on the way to Christchurch and that they had more support on standby.

"I speak on behalf of everyone in our country when I say we all stand with New Zealand at this dark and difficult moment."

UN voices sadness at loss of life

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed deep sadness at the loss of life and destruction of property in New Zealand resulting from the earthquake that struck Christchurch, the country's second largest city, and surrounding areas.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the secretary general extended his deepest condolences to the families of those who have been killed, injured or rendered homeless by this still unfolding tragedy.

"He acknowledges the ongoing efforts by the Government of New Zealand to help those affected," the statement added.

"The Secretary-General stresses the readiness of the United Nations to contribute to its efforts in any way needed."

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  • royalcourtier said on 2011-03-14 @ 21:33 NZDT: Report abusive post

    The whole focus of this debate is wrong. There is no reason for any of these buildings to be demolished. It is not a case of which should be saved, but which should be demolished. There are few which cannot be saved. What people are missing is that if a building is demolished unnecessarily, and illegally, there won't be any insurance. Only the city can approve demolition - civil defence cannot do so.

  • Adam Chc said on 2011-03-09 @ 14:44 NZDT: Report abusive post

    As a small business based near the epicentre in Christchurch we are strugeling to survive and simply can not afford a day off. I also do not think I or my staff are reasdy for a day of mourning yet. I am surprised the govenment would even consider this, it shows how out of touch they are to the impact this is having on business and staff.

  • annej said on 2011-03-08 @ 15:09 NZDT: Report abusive post

    I must congratulate Bob Parker for his leadership and his caring nature to all people in Christchurch and his unfaultering continual contact with his people, a fine leader and the restoration of Christchurch should go through him and the council and not left to those who do not care about the uniqueness of Christchurch, sack Brownlee, send him back where he come from.

  • annej said on 2011-03-08 @ 15:04 NZDT: Report abusive post

    At a time when the suffering is entering an unacceptable time frame of two weeks, John Key throws the baby out with the bath water and states that the government will buy the land off people who have suffered so much,this is akin to pulling the rug from underneath those who are stressed,do not know their fate and have lost loved ones, more thought and empathy is needed from central govt and to deal with the bulk of the people and not just the business sector.Thoughts and prayers to all.

  • Huatoki said on 2011-03-08 @ 13:37 NZDT: Report abusive post

    As with every issue he's dealt with, Brownlee crashes in with an ill-advised and inflammatory attitude, then scuttles behind his officials and is unavailable for comment. Christchurch needs unifying, reassuring and competent leadership and Brownlee consistently fails on all three counts. We need resources, not divisiveness. If the minister cannot deliver them quickly and efficiently, he needs to go. We deserve better.