New Zealand/earthquake in Christchurch
Paris, February 22 , 2011
France was deeply shocked to learn that a powerful earthquake struck the city of Christchurch yesterday and, according to the first report, killed at least 65 people.
In the ordeal New Zealand is suffering, Michèle Alliot-Marie expresses France’s wholehearted solidarity to the New Zealand authorities and people and shares the grief and distress of the bereaved, to whom she expresses her heartfelt condolences.
She has instructed the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs crisis centre and our embassy and consulate in Wellington to provide assistance to the French people over there and follow the situation closely.
France pays tribute to the courage being shown, right now, by all those who are mobilized on the ground to help the people affected.
The Ministre d’Etat signals our readiness to make available to the New Zealand authorities, should they so wish, French sécurité civile [emergency services] special resources for clearing rubble and assisting earthquake victims./.