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Trapped Chinese tourists safely evacuated from quake-hit area in New Zealand

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-11-16 10:15

Trapped Chinese tourists safely evacuated from quake-hit area in New Zealand

Chinese tourists have been safely evacuated from the disasterarea to Christchurch in New Zealand by helicopters on November 14, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

Deputy Consul-General Li Xin is grateful of the support from the locals for the rescue.

"A big challenge is to find Chinese tourists in a very short time," Li said after searching many streets to look for his fellow countrymen.

"Any Chinese tourists who were still in Kaikoura can contact the consulate, and we will do our best to take them out of here," he said.

The New Zealand government on Tuesday arranged air force helicopters and navy vessels to rescue the stranded tourists remaining in Kaikoura for fear that the situation would exacerbate for shortage of food and water.

Four air force helicopters carried relief supplies. Carrier-based helicopters from the United States and Malaysia, which were in New Zealand to attend Navy commemorative activities, will assist the rescue mission.

New Zealand has reported 900 aftershocks so far, with most tremors above magnitude-5. A tsunami warning was cancelled late Monday afternoon.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key told a news conference on Tuesday that the country was confident to properly handle the aftermath.

Focus will be put on infrastructure reconstruction. It will probably take months to repair the coastal highways. To repair a mountainous road leading to Kaikoura tops the reconstruction agenda.

New Zealand is frequently rattled by earthquakes, most of which do no damage and cause no injuries, but Monday's tremor brought back memories of the 6.3-magnitude quake that killed 185 people in Christchurch in February 2011.


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