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In Photos: New Zealand's Canterbury devastated due to floodwater; PM Jacinda Ardern takes stock of situation

01:57 PM Jun 01, 2021 |

Floodwaters in New Zealand receded on Tuesday, leaving behind a big mess on many farms in the Canterbury region and damage to a major bridge.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters that farmers had been particularly hard hit with lost feed, broken fences and debris spread across their fields. She said that seeing the damage from the air had shown her the scale of what had happened.

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"It is quite devastating in some areas," she said.

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"There's a lot of work for us to do, alongside farmers, to support them in their recovery. A big cleanup job lies ahead of us," Ardern added.

As much as 40 centimeters (16 inches) of rain fell over three days in the Canterbury region, prompting authorities to declare a state of emergency and the government to allocate 500,000 New Zealand dollars (USD 364,000) toward cleanup efforts.

Several hundred people were told to leave their homes and schools were closed during the flooding. The military helped evacuate more than 50 people, including several in an NH-90 military helicopter.

An aerial view taken from a New Zealand Defence Force helicopter on June 1, 2021 shows the flood damage after heavy rains washed away bridges and cut roads in the Canterbury region.
An aerial view taken from a New Zealand Defence Force helicopter on June 1, 2021 shows the flood damage after heavy rains washed away bridges and cut roads in the Canterbury region.
New Zealands Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (C) inspects the flood damage from an army helicopter on June 1, 2021 after heavy rains washed away bridges and cut roads in the Canterbury region.
An aerial view taken from a New Zealand Defence Force helicopter on June 1, 2021 shows the flood damage after heavy rains washed away bridges and cut roads in the Canterbury region.
An aerial view taken from a New Zealand Defence Force helicopter on June 1, 2021 shows the flood damage after heavy rains washed away bridges and cut roads in the Canterbury region.
New Zealands Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (C) inspects the flood damage from an army helicopter on June 1, 2021 after heavy rains washed away bridges and cut roads in the Canterbury region.
New Zealands Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (C) alights from an army helicopter on June 1, 2021 as she inspects the flood damage after heavy rains washed away bridges and cut roads in the Canterbury region.
New Zealands Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (2/L) visits the Emergency Operation Centre in Ashburton on June 1, 2021 as she inspects the flood damage after heavy rains washed away bridges and cut roads in the Canterbury region.
New Zealands Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits the Emergency Operation Centre in Ashburton on June 1, 2021 as she inspects the flood damage after heavy rains washed away bridges and cut roads in the Canterbury region.

With inputs from AP.

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