Cows stranded on 'island' created by powerful New Zealand quake

Toby Graves
Ноября 26, 2016

The magnitude 7.8 quake that struck on Monday has left hundreds of tourists stranded in the coastal town of Kaikoura after landslides blocked off roads. It also brought down rocks and mud that swept across highways and cracked apart roads. But the quake knocked out water supplies and sewer systems and left people with no easy way out.

Four large defence force helicopters were flying in to the town on Tuesday morning and the Navy's multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury was heading to the area, Air Commander Darryn Webb, the acting commander of New Zealand joint forces, told TVNZ. "There's a real imperative to support the town because it can't support itself". He said about five metric tons of supplies were ready to be delivered from Christchurch.

Sarah Stuart-Black, director of the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, said the priority was transporting out those people with health issues or worldwide flights booked.

"Two people have lost their lives, people are living without power and in damaged homes", he said.

"It will definitely have an impact because there's no way for tourists to get in or out of the town", said Mark Solomon, a leader of the Ngai Tahu tribe, which runs whale-watching operations among other businesses around Kaikoura.

They say two babies were among those rescued Tuesday. "It's fractured through", Nally said. He said he didn't believe it posed a risk to public safety because of the precautions authorities had taken in evacuating the area around it.

Nally said the building was empty when the quake struck.

He said the buildings that were evacuated include the local headquarters for the Red Cross and the Thai Embassy.

Elsewhere, many people returned to work in the capital, Wellington, after the quake shut down much of the central city on Monday. But some buildings remained closed, and heavy rain and flooding compounded the difficulties.

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Hundreds of aftershocks, the strongest a 6.2 quake at about 1.45 p.m. local time (0045 GMT), rattled the South Pacific country, fraying nerves in an area where memories of a deadly 2011 quake are still fresh.

One person died at a historic homestead that collapsed at Kaikoura, with another killed at a remote property north of Christchurch. Several other people suffered minor injuries in Kaikoura, police spokeswoman Rachel Purdom said.

The town has a population of 2,000, which Prime Minister John Key said was bolstered by an extra 1,200 tourists, mostly global backpackers attracted by the area's popular whale-watching cruises. Cars could be seen lying on their sides and parts of the road were clearly impassable.

Key flew over the quake's epicentre on Monday and said he was shocked to see such "utter devastation".

A farmer from Kaikoura rescued the two cows and a calf using a pick and shovel after a magnitude 7.5 quake raised portions of the land, creating small islands, according to Newshub.

President-elect Donald Trump has called New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key to pass on his sympathies for the powerful natural disaster that killed two people.

Meanwhile, two people have been reported killed and more than 1,000 has been separated from their home due to the quake.

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