Due to heavy rains on New Zealand’s South Island, the army deployed on Monday to rescue hundreds of people from the flood zone. The military announced in Ashburton, near Christchurch, that three people had been flown to safety by helicopter. The mayor said the city of 35,000 was cut off from the outside world.
As reported by New Zealand media, about 300 homes have been evacuated. Civil protection authorities set up emergency shelters in schools and gyms.
The authorities had previously issued a rare red weather warning, declaring a state of emergency in the Canterbury region, one of the agricultural centers in the Pacific state. The storm brought 400 millimeters of rain in two days – more than the total amount of rain that fell in some areas so far this year. Rivers overflowed their banks, swept bridges and inundated streets.
According to the forecast, the weather should calm down on Tuesday night. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern plans to visit the disaster area on Tuesday.
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