Soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa says she is deeply saddened by the earthquake and its aftermath in Christchurch.

"Just two weeks ago I performed in a charity concert in Christchurch to help raise funds for the Christchurch Symphony and Southern Opera for shortfalls caused by the September crisis. That night was a celebration and now those same people have to start all over again."

Dame Kiri said the scenes she had seen over the past few days were heartbreaking.

"From a distance it's difficult to understand the anguish, terror and anxiety that the people of Canterbury are experiencing. All I can do is pray that people will have the strength and resilience to see this new crisis through and that it never happens again."

She said she would encourage people at her Perth concert tomorrow night to contribute to the Red Cross Christchurch earthquake appeal.

- NZPA