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Thousands greet William in Sumner

Prince William has been greeted by thousands of well wishers as he visited a town badly-hit by the earthquake in New Zealand.

The royal met crowds who turned out in Sumner, near Christchurch, taking time to hear their own personal stories from the February 22 quake.

The seaside town was badly hit by the quake - the most obvious sign of the damage is a huge boulder that fell from the cliff, narrowly missing the Returned Services Association (RSA) building.

Three people are believed to have died in the picturesque town, with many houses left uninhabitable.

Prince William is to attend a national memorial service to mark the earthquake in New Zealand during his visit.

The prince, who on Wednesday witnessed the devastation in Christchurch, visited the fire station in Sumner, then took time to meet crowds of waiting men, women and children.

More than 160 people died in the earthquake, which hit New Zealand's second-largest city Christchurch at lunchtime on February 22.

William's visit to the city is his second official trip on behalf of the Queen.

He has also travelled to Greymouth to meet families of the 29 victims of the Pike River mine disaster and is due to attend the national memorial service in Christchurch's Hagley Park on Friday - which has been made a public holiday so people can attend.

Prime Minister John Key will also be at the service, along with soprano Hayley Westenra, who is from Christchurch and will be singing during the event.


From Belfast Telegraph