Military reinforcements have been released and the city of Paris has gone into lockdown following an estimated six terrorist attacks in Paris. Māori artist Tracey Tawhiao is currently working in France and says the situation is just surreal.
“I was just at Gare du Nord picking up Ruby (her daughter) and people were running and screaming” says Tawhiao.
Ruby was on a train traveling from London to Paris. She was approached by a man on the train. He warned her not to use the Metro as 25kg of explosives were on site.
Tawhiao says at the time she had no idea what was happening until her daughter rang her and told her to stay away.
“She told me to meet her across the road, as soon as we found each other we hugged, kissed and ran away,” says a relieved Tawhiao.
Tawhiao says she considers herself lucky and through a Facebook page called “Paris Terror Attacks – Safety Check” has registered herself safe online. Other New Zealanders are being encouraged to do the same.
The New Zealand Embassy in Paris says there are 249 New Zealanders registered on SafeTravel as being in France.
The Embassy says there is currently no confirmed information on the nationalities of victims but they are seeking information and maintaining contact with local authorities.