22 February 2011 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.
The 6.3-magnitude quake that shook the city at midday has claimed at least 65 lives, according to media reports, which are describing it as the country’s worst natural disaster in 80 years.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban 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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