Prince William Says NZ Earthquake Damage is "Unbelievable"

Mar 17, 2011, 07:15

Prince William toured earthquake-ravaged Christchurch, calling damage to the New Zealand city startling and thanking rescue workers for their efforts.

On the first day of his two-day visit, the prince toured several sites in the city Thursday to meet with crews involved in search and rescue efforts after the earthquake struck Feb. 22, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.

The entourage visited Christchurch Cathedral, which lost its spire and now is surrounded by scaffolding, and passed the Grand Chancellor Hotel, the city's tallest building now listing dangerously and in need of demolition.

"It's just the scale of it is unbelievable," William said. "When you see buildings like that � that's very, very sad. It really does bring it home to see it leaning like that."

William's visit is part of a five-day tour of New Zealand and Australia. The death toll from the 6.3-magnitude earthquake is 166 but is expected to top 180.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said hundreds of people had lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the prince on his way from the airport.

Source: UPI