Storm triggered landslides cut off thousands in New Zealand
February 21, 2018 | 2:09 PM
by Times TV

At least 5,000 people in New Zealand's South Island were cut off by massive landslides and hundreds of tourists stranded on Wednesday, February 21, after a storm caused by cyclone Gita whipped through the country, sparking a state of emergency in several southern towns.

Drone footage from social media user James Thomas showed roads blocked at Takaka Hills in Tasman. Torrential rains from Gita, which was downgraded on Tuesday, February 20 to storm, lashed the centre of New Zealand, causing floods in the city of Christchurch and other provinces.

Heavy rain caused landslips, closing arterial roads, including a state highway. In New Zealand's South Island, about 200 tourists were still trapped after spending the night in their buses or in welfare centres, Radio NZ reported.

New Zealand's weather bureau told local media the worst was likely over.

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