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New Zealand prime minister visits towns hit by deadly quake

Published 24/11/2016

New Zealand prime minister John Key looks down from a military helicopter at work being done to clear a road (Iain McGregor/Christchurch Press/Pool via AP)
New Zealand prime minister John Key looks down from a military helicopter at work being done to clear a road (Iain McGregor/Christchurch Press/Pool via AP)
New Zealand prime minister John Key inspects damage in Waiau (Iain McGregor/Christchurch Press/Pool via AP)

New Zealand prime minister John Key has visited towns affected by a powerful earthquake, saying officials are doing everything they can to restore infrastructure.

Mr Key travelled by military helicopter to the South Island towns of Waiau, Kaikoura and Kekerengu.

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 killed two people and triggered landslides that still block a major coastal road.

Hundreds of tourists were last week evacuated from Kaikoura in helicopters and by a navy ship.

Kaikoura remains inaccessible by road to the public, although military convoys have managed to get through. The town was popular among tourists participating in whale-watching boat rides.

Residents in Kekerengu asked Mr Key to quickly reopen State Highway One. But Mr Key said the damage was extensive and any fix would take some time.

AP

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