JERUSALEM, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday pledged to assist in rescue efforts in New Zealand following an earthquake that struck one of the country's largest cities, leaving at least 65 people dead and mass destruction.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Bureau, speaking with his New Zealand counterpart John Key, Netanyahu expressed his condolences and offered to assist the rescue efforts to save people trapped in the rubble.
Netanyahu also instructed various government officials to maintain close contact with the New Zealand government in order to assess their needs, the statement said.
Key thanked Netanyahu and said he would consider his offer in case of need.
The Israeli Embassy in Wellington was set to assist in locating 120 Israelis living or traveling in Christchurch, New Zealand's second-biggest city, struck by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Israeli officials fear that one Israeli national may be among the dead, local media reported.