A devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked Christchurch, New Zealand this week, and since then two aftershocks have continued to leave the populous city scrambling for safety. According to ABC News, at least 65 people have died and dozens have been injured. Rescue efforts are under way.
While this isn’t news DietsInReview.com would ordinarily report, many Biggest Loser fans know that members of the show’s cast and crew have been in New Zealand for the past week filming for season 11, as Bob, Jillian and Ali have been tweeting about their adventures.
We reached out to our press contact for Biggest Loser and have received confirmation that everyone is safe. It appears they are a “good distance away from Christchurch” and were not affected.
While they are not affected physically, it is evident that the trio is using their position to help raise awareness for the people in New Zealand who have been.
Bob Harper posted on his Facebook page: “We are okay from the earthquake in NZ and we are praying for the families in Christ Church. Thank you for your prayers.”
Jillian Michaels posted on her Facebook page: “Hi all… thanks so much for all the concern. Yes, we are all ok. We are in Queenstown which is about 200 miles from Christchurch. Trying to reach the Red Cross now & figure out what we can do to help. Please pray for those who are injured or still trapped.”
She followed up two hours later with a plea for people to give blood to help those in need. “I know times are incredibly tough, but if you happen to have anything to spare and feel so inclined here is information on how to make a donation. Although they haven’t specifically called for it, consider giving blood. This is always an incredibly positive thing to do in general. Sending out prayers to the families affected by this tragedy.”
Ali Sweeney, the show’s host who is traveling with her husband and two young children, posted on her Twitter: “We are thinking of all the people in Christchurch, NZ during this difficult time. We love all the kind, wonderful people here!!”. She followed that up with this post: “been chatting with so many Kiwis here who have family affected by the earthquake in Christchurch. tucking kids into bed. #grateful”.
NBC has not formally released any information about why Biggest Loser is in New Zealand. We can assume it’s an unexpected surprise trip for the last remaining season 11 contestants and we’ll know more as the season creeps closer to the finale.
If you are interested in support efforts for those in New Zealand, we recommend contacting the American Red Cross.
February 22nd, 2011