New video released by the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) on Tuesday, February 4, shows the extent of the damage to Milford Road, the road leading to Milford Sound where over 300 people, including 195 tourists, were reported to be trapped.
Nine people were rescued by helicopter from a stretch limousine that became trapped on the highway, and a further 27 people were rescued from a bus on Hollyford Road, according to the New Zealand Herald.
Authorities said that Milford road could remain closed for a week. “Rain has continued to fall in very large volumes, and the ground conditions remain very unstable,” said Peter Brown, a journey manager with the NZTA.
A state of emergency was declared for the Southland region by the Civil Defence Emergency Management group on Tuesday. Residents of Gore and Mataura were advied to “prepare their grab bags (consisting of medications, clothing and personal items including documents) and be ready to evacuate if required.” Credit: New Zealand Transport Authority via Storyful