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New Zealand’s Queenstown Declares State of Emergency Amid Heavy Rain and Flooding

Queenstown in New Zealand declared a state of emergency for an initial seven-day period due to heavy rain and the risk of landslides and flooding. Mayor Glyn Lewers explained that the declaration was a response to the significant rainfall experienced in the area. The district council has been actively assessing the situation, which includes flooding and debris events, and evacuating affected residents. A temporary evacuation center has been established to assist those who couldn’t find alternative accommodation.

The recent heavy rains have also affected local attractions, with the Skyline Queenstown gondola temporarily closed due to slips and flooding, and the road to Glenorchy, a popular filming location for “The Lord of the Rings,” cut off due to rising lake levels. Additionally, the region has been dealing with a cryptosporidium outbreak, leading to a boil water notice for many properties in Queenstown.