Thursday, February 24, 2011

Prime Minister sends condolence to New Zealand counterpart

Grief-stricken ... Fifteen-year-old Kent Manning (left) and his sister Libby, 18, reacting with their father, who asked not to identified, after they were told by police yesterday that there was no hope of finding Kent and Libby’s mother alive in a collapsed building following a 6.3-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday in Christchurch, New Zealand. – APpic
PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare yesterday wrote to his counterpart and New Zealand prime minister John Key, expressing deep sorrow and regret over the loss of lives and property as a result of an earthquake that struck Christchurch on Tuesday, The National reports.
“On behalf of the government and people of Papua New Guinea, I convey our deep sorrow and condolence on the terrible loss of lives and destruction caused to properties and public infrastructure following the devastating earthquake that struck the city of Christchurch.
“As your people mourn this tragic loss, we pray that the Almighty God will guide, console and grant strength to the immediate families and relatives affected by this catastrophe during this time of bereavement.
“I am confident that the strength of spirit and resilience of the New Zealand people, which has seen them overcome previous natural disasters, will see them through this tragedy,” he said.
He said PNG valued its bilateral ties with New Zealand.
“We are friends in every sense of the word. As a token of expression of our solidarity, profound sorrow and regret, my government stands ready to offer whatever assistance your government might require towards the recovery efforts in Christchurch.”
A number of PNG students are studying in New Zealand, but it could not be ascertained yesterday whether any attended colleges in the Christchurch or Canterbury region.
However, latest Radio Australia report said a night-time curfew came into force yesterday across much of quake-ravaged Christchurch, with the grim likelihood of a rising death toll hanging over rescuers desperately searching for survivors.
The number of confirmed dead from Tuesday’s 6.3-magnitude quake remained at 75 with more than 300 missing, officials said.
Radio Australia reported that for the first time in its history, New Zealand was in a state of emergency.
Military and police personnel were patrolling the centre of the city.
There have been more than 110 aftershocks since Tuesday’s quake and the cost had been estimated to be as high as US$16 billion – double the damage bill of the quake that hit Christchurch last September.

No comments:

Post a Comment