WELLINGTON – A large group of tourists and resort staff have been marooned by heavy rain in the New Zealand South Island’s Milford Sound.
A state of emergency was declared after flooding trapped 382 people in the Fiordland region, including visitors and staff at a lodge and on tourist boats.
The region’s emergency management, Angus McKay, said in a statement that the heavy rains had cut road access and a busload of stranded tourists would be airlifted from the region.
The tourists had plenty of food and were safe and warm, said Mr McKay, adding that most they would likely stay for at least the next day in Milford Sound, which has suffered severe flooding after heavy rain in the last 24 hours.
Roads to the flooded area are likely to be shut all week, the New Zealand Transport Agency said.
Another small number of tourists was earlier flown to safety by helicopter, the agency told local media.