Monday 14th November 2016
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Prime Minister John Key has postponed a planned trip to Argentina after a magnitude 7.5 earthquake near Seddon overnight left two people dead, triggered tsunami warnings and damaged buildings as far north as Wellington.
Key was scheduled to depart tomorrow for Buenos Aires in Argentina for a series of meetings aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s trade, economic and political ties with the region, before travelling to Peru to attend an APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. As a result of last night's earthquake, Key decided to postpone his visit to Argentina, although he still intends to travel to Lima in Peru from November 19-20 if circumstances permit, he said in a statement.
"The situation is still unfolding and we don’t yet know the full extent of the damage,” Key said. “I believe it is better that I remain in New Zealand in the coming days to offer my assistance and support until we have a better understanding of the event’s full impact."
Key said his officials had apologised to the Argentine government and he intends to call President Mauricio Macri in the next few days. He will decide whether to go ahead with the APEC trip later this week.
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