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New Zealand government to cover quake claims

HONOLULU, Hawaii (Pacific Islands Report, Sept. 12, 2010) – New Zealand authorities reportedly have tallied losses as high as US$4.5 billion in the city of Christchurch following a major earthquake on September 3.

Radio Australia reports as many as 10,000 homes were damaged.

According to Business Insurance , most of the claims from homeowners will be paid by New Zealand's government-sponsored Earthquake Commission.

Minister Paula Bennett announced on Radio Australia that an amount of $7.5 million dollars was provided to support NGO’s helping earthquake victims.

According to Radio New Zealand, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Cabinet will consider temporary emergency legislation in order to clear the way for vital reconstruction work.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Herald reports that most of Christchurch school has reopened today after the disruption of the earthquake.

Nearly all tourism operators in the city are open and operating though a state of emergency will remain in place until midday Sept. 15 to ensure public safety, according to New Zealand’s earthquake information site.

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