Prince William has been meeting some of those affected by two disasters in New Zealand. In Greymouth on the South Island the Prince met with the families of 29 men killed in an explosion at the Pike River coal mine on Nov. 19.
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Prince William receives a hong, a Maori greeting, from a tribal leader before meeting with officials of the Pike River company in Greymouth, New Zealand on March 17. Prince William is scheduled to hold a private meeting with the grieving families of the miners, whose bodies are still entombed in the sealed-off pit, which remains too dangerous to enter.
In Christchurch, the Prince got a firsthand look at the destruction wrought by last month's earthquake, praising the work search teams had done and adding that he wished he'd been able to help. William was escorted through the city, where the wreckage of collapsed buildings still lies piled up in areas. The downtown is still sealed off as workers dismantle unstable rubble and shore up weakened and wobbly buildings after a 6.3-magnitude quake on Feb. 22 that toppled or badly damaged thousands of buildings and killed at least 166 people.
Hannah Johnston / AP
Prince William, center, puts on a hat as he poses for a photo with members of the Urban Search and Rescue team in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 17. Christchurch was hit by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake on Feb. 22, causing major damage to the central city and surrounding suburbs.
"The scale of it is unbelievable," the prince said while visiting Latimer Square, a park in the center of town that became an emergency medical depot immediately after the quake. Read the full story.
Hannah Johnston / Getty Images
Prince William looks at the destruction at Christchurch Cathedral on March 17 in Christchurch, New Zealand. His Royal Highness is in New Zealand for two days to tour areas devastated by the Christchurch Earthquake and to visit families who lost loved ones at the Pike River Mine in Greymouth. Prince William will then travel to Australia on Saturday for three days where he will visit regions affected by floods and Hurricane Yasi in Queensland, as well as flood-affected parts of Australia.