A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck New Zealand on February 22, 2011, and affected the city of Christchurch and surrounding areas. The U.S. Mission in New Zealand has established a dedicated email address for those both seeking information, or providing information, about the welfare and whereabouts of U.S. citizens in Christchurch. Please email the information to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton extended condolences on behalf of President Barack Obama and the people of the United States. Secretary Clinton said:
"The United States stands ready to provide assistance to the government of New Zealand and to the brave people of Christchurch. Our long history of friendship and mutual support in times of need is an example of our enduring bond. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, especially the families of the victims, and with all the people of New Zealand."
The largest U.S. Congressional Delegation ever to visit New Zealand was in Christchurch to attend the U.S.-New Zealand Partnership Forum hours before the devastating earthquake hit the city and surrounding Canterbury region. The bipartisan delegation was led by Chairman Donald Manzullo of the Subcommittee on Asia-Pacific, House Foreign Affairs Committee. Following the earthquake, Representative Manzullo said:
"The thoughts and prayers of our delegation, and the American people we represent, are with the people of Christchurch, the Canterbury region and all of New Zealand on the occasion of this devastating tragedy. Having received the warm reception of the people of Christchurch at the Partnership Forum only hours before the earthquake struck makes this disaster all the more personal and poignant. The recently signed Wellington Declaration states: 'We recall the long history of shared United States and New Zealand sacrifice in battle.' Your American friends extend profound condolences and sympathy to the victims of this tragedy and to their families and friends."
Visit the New Zealand Civil Defence website for all information and updates on the situation in Christchurch. You can also find information via the Google Crisis Response: Christchurch Earthquake webpage.