21 April, 2013
PM expresses condolences on Sichuan quake
Prime Minister John Key has today expressed condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in the Sichuan earthquake, and those still waiting for news about loved ones.
“A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit the Sichuan province in southwest China yesterday,” says Mr Key.
“Latest reports from the Chinese authorities are that more than 160 people have lost their lives and thousands are injured.
“On behalf of the New Zealand Government and the people of New Zealand, I would like to send a message of sympathy and support to China, and to Premier Li Keqiang, who is leading the search and rescue and relief effort in Sichuan.
“I met with Premier Li in Beijing just over a week ago and we discussed cooperation on disaster relief and humanitarian matters,” says Mr Key.
“New Zealanders understand all too well the devastation that can be caused by earthquakes. We were hugely grateful for China’s support following the Christchurch earthquake and New Zealand helped respond to the 2008 Sichuan quake.
"While China has not requested international assistance, New Zealand once again stands ready to provide technical support if required.
“At this stage, there are no reports of any foreign nationals being injured in the earthquake. However, the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing will continue to monitor the situation closely,” says Mr Key.
New Zealanders who have concerns about family or friends in Lushan County should attempt to make contact with them directly in the first instance. If they require further assistance they should call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Consular Division on 04 439 8000 and ask to speak to a Consular Adviser.