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New Zealand insurer pays out over 830 mln USD to quake zone home owners

07-04-2011 14:22 BJT

WELLINGTON, July 4 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's state-run insurer for natural disasters, the Earthquake Commission (EQC), has paid our more than one billion NZ dollars (830.2 million U.S. dollars) to homeowners for earthquake damage in Christchurch in September last year, the government announced on Monday.

The amount was still rising with claims coming in from the most recent major quake on June 13, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said.

Since Sept. 4 last year, when the first major quake struck, the EQC had received almost 370,000 claims from 13 major tremors, including more than 22,000 for the aftershock on June 13, said Brownlee.

"This shows significant amounts of money following claimants," Brownlee said.

"EQC has paid an average 3 million NZ dollars a day, and expects that level of payment to increase significantly," Brownlee added.

The EQC was still assessing residential buildings in the city, which the government last month divided into four zones, including a red zone where about 5,000 homes would be demolished, but it would have all properties fully assessed by the end of the year, said Brownlee.

Full assessments for severe structural damage should be completed by mid-July.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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