New Zealand's Queenstown declares emergency after heavy rain
WELLINGTON - New Zealand's scenic town Queenstown declared a state of emergency on Friday for seven days in response to heavy rain, reported Xinhua.
The declaration was necessary, said its mayor, Glyn Lewers, adding that it would enable emergency services to assist those affected.
"The current weather is an evolving situation," Lewers said, adding that the district council has been working throughout the night to assess the full extent of the situation.
Several floods have been identified, and the council was contacting those affected, including evacuating more than 100 people, he said, adding that a temporary evacuation centre has been set up to manage evacuees.
The new Skyline Queenstown gondola, which was expanded and relaunched in June, was temporarily closed.
The road to Glenorchy, 45 minutes from Queenstown, has been cut off due to a surge in the lake’s water level. Glenorchy was well known as a filming location for The Lord of the Rings.
A regional state of emergency remains in place for nearby Southland following downpours on Thursday, with schools and kindergartens closed due to floods. - BERNAMA-XINHUA