16 July 2024,   06:24
New Zealand - severe flooding forces thousands to flee

Severe flooding forced thousands of residents in New Zealand’s South Island to flee their homes on Wednesday and left hundreds of tourists stranded at the remote Milford Sound.

The Southland region declared a state of emergency after being deluged with more than 1 000 millimetres of rainfall in 60 hours, triggering landslides on large roads and causing rivers to burst their banks.

Authorities told residents in the low-lying areas of Gore and Mataura to evacuate immediately early on Wednesday as floodwaters in the Mataura river peaked, warning those further downstream in Wyndham to prepare to leave.

“We have issued notices to evacuate and to prepare to evacuate to 6,000 people across the region”, - declared the Emergency Management Southland.