Hong Kong tour group safe after fleeing building
A tour group of 20 Hong Kong people was in Christchurch when the earthquake struck, but all were unhurt.
Members of the Wing On Travel tour were having lunch at a restaurant in the downtown area of Christchurch when they felt the building shake.
'The 20 and a Hong Kong tour guide quickly rushed to an open area. None of them were injured,' a spokeswoman for the company said. The group was on the fourth day of a nine-day tour of the country. They continued on to Queenstown after the quake.
Wing On Travel said it had another tour group scheduled to depart for New Zealand on Saturday and the company would try to learn more about the situation there before deciding whether to cancel the tour.
Undersecretary for security Lai Tung-kwok said three more Hong Kong tour groups comprising about 60 people were in New Zealand. None of the groups were in Christchurch at the time of the quake and they would not go there now.
While the government could not estimate how many individual travellers were in Christchurch, Lai said the Chinese Embassy reported that there had been no casualties involving Chinese or Hong Kong people so far.
He added that the government referred an assistance case to the embassy as a Hong Kong female student could not be reached after phoning her family to say she was safe.