Cruise passengers wait out storm
Sun, 14 Oct 2012 7:55a.m.
Around 700 cruise ship passengers were forced to spend the night on dry land after a wild storm that lashed the whole country yesterday stopped them reboarding their ship in Akaroa.
The vicious weather kept emergency services in both islands busy, grounded and diverted planes, tore out trees in Auckland and Northland, cut power and caused a huge rockfall that closed the only road into Milford Sound.
The cruise ship Sea Princess arrived in Akaroa yesterday morning before the storm reached its height and the rough conditions in the harbour meant the passengers, mostly from the US and Europe, could not reboard in the afternoon, Christchurch City Council said.
Civil Defence staff set up a centre at the Akaroa School Hall and the passengers were given food and drink. An Akaroa pharmacy opened after hours to ensure passengers had access to necessary medication.
The passengers were accommodated in Akaroa and Christchurch overnight and were expected to reboard the ship today as the storm fronts abated.
Air New Zealand cancelled or diverted around 30 mainly regional flights due to severe winds and a Pacific Blue flight from Melbourne to Auckland was diverted to Tauranga.
The gales that lashed Auckland, causing widespread damage to trees, homes and high-rise buildings and cutting power to hundreds of homes, had reduced to blustery winds that would continue for the next few days, WeatherWatch analyst Howard Joseph said.
"We can say goodbye to the low on Sunday, but not its influence.
"As the low treks off to the east, it will leave some rather breezy conditions in its wake."
In the South Island, the Milford Sound highway would be closed for several days while a spectacular landslide was cleared. The New Zealand Transport Authority said the rocks, some weighing up to 200 tonnes, would have to be broken up using specialist equipment before they could be shifted.
In the meantime, tourists and supplies were being flown in and out of the popular tourist destination.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
All 350 passengers on board a commuter train that derailed e...
32 months after the first earthquake, dozens of Christchurch...
The woman who first tried to lift the lid on paedophile Jame...
Tourists in Christchurch are being kicked out of the interna...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.