New Zealand has been hit by a second powerful earthquake, only hours after a 7.5 magnitude tremor killed at least two people.
Some communities on the country’s south island remain completely cut off after the initial quake badly damaged roads and other key infrastructure.
New Zealand’s Civil Defence declared a state of emergency for the South Island’s Kaikoura region, centred on a tourist town about 150 km northeast of Christchurch, soon after Monday’s large aftershock.
“Some very short-term practical issues that need to be resolved: making sure that we get more water, food and ultimately people here to support that nearly 600 people that are at the welfare centre because the road access points here are blocked off, the only way through is flying people in and out, there’s quite a number of tourists now who are ultimately stuck with international connections, so we’ll have to think about that,” said New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key who visited the popular tourist destination.
The South Island has seen hundreds of tremors, including a 6.3-magnitude quake, after the initial one struck after midnight on Monday.
The aftershocks have left some communities without power and water, although authorities are slowly restoring supplies.