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Recalling Experiences of the Christchurch Earthquake

Recalling Experiences of the Christchurch Earthquake

American political, military and business leaders who were in Christchurch, New Zealand when a deadly earthquake struck last month gathered last night (15 March) for dinner at the New Zealand Ambassador’s Residence in Washington.

They recounted their experiences and offered support to those affected by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, as well as the more recent earthquake in Japan.

Over 50 US officials were in Christchurch on the day of the earthquake to attend a United States-New Zealand Partnership Forum focussed on looking at ways to progress the bilateral relationship.

Congressman Donald Manzullo, who was in New Zealand at the time of the earthquake as part of a Congressional Delegation, led a group prayer and offered condolences for those affected by the events in New Zealand and Japan.

US Assistant Secretary of State, Dr Kurt Campbell, spoke heartfelt words about how his thoughts were now too with those in Japan, particularly those risking their lives to contain emissions from the overheated nuclear reactors.

About his experience in New Zealand, Dr Campbell praised the way New Zealanders came together to assist those in need, and how the New Zealand authorities acted with professionalism and efficiency in their evacuation, and search and rescue efforts.

New Zealand Ambassador to the United States, Rt Hon Mike Moore, said: “The generosity and friendship that was experienced that day – these are the memories that will keep us warm in our old age.”

Ambassador Moore also pointed out that the New Zealand search and rescue team dispatched to Japan after its earthquake had used equipment and logistical support gifted by the United States.

“The raw decency of Americans since the earthquake has been overwhelming,” Ambassador Moore said.

ENDS

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