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Scoop Audio: NZ Govt Response to Samoa Tsunami

Scoop Audio: McCully and English on the Samoa Tsunami

By Spike Mountjoy


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Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully

Acting Prime Minister Bill English and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully field questions about the tsunami that hit Samoa Wednesday morning (NZ time).

An air force Orion is on the way to Samoa and will arrive in the next few hours, leaving the crew a few hours of daylight to search for people washed out to sea.

A Hercules is preparing to depart from Auckland within the next 12 hours. It will carry medical supplies. The Government is talking to Samoan authorities about what else is needed and can be carried on the plane.

The Acting Prime Minister said New Zealand will be making an ongoing contribution.

McCully and English said they can only guess how many people have been killed in the disaster, but reports coming in from Samoa suggest more than 100 may have died.

Bill English said reports from a New Zealand family suggests one New Zealander has been killed. English said that number is likely to rise.

McCully asked New Zealander to defer all non-urgent travel to Samoa, and told New Zealanders already there to contact the NZ high commission and their families back home.

McCully said New Zealand was working closely with Australia but had had no contact with China over the humanitarian response.

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