Obama expresses condolences to New Zealand leader

AP News
Posted: Feb 23, 2011 7:16 PM
Obama expresses condolences to New Zealand leader

President Barack Obama has spoken with New Zealand's prime minister, John Key, to express condolences over the devastating earthquake that struck his country and offer U.S. support.

The White House says Obama told Key by phone Wednesday that a U.S. search-and-rescue team was already en route to New Zealand and that the U.S. is ready to provide whatever other assistance is needed.

Key expressed his appreciation for U.S. support and described the determination of the people of New Zealand in the wake of Tuesday's earthquake that killed at least 75 people in Christchurch. Hundreds more are missing.

Key has declared the quake a national disaster and teams are rushing from all over the world to help recovery in Christchurch, one of New Zealand's largest cities.