Earthquake relief efforts continue in New Zealand amid aftershocks and heavy rain

Efforts are continuing to evacuate people from Kaikoura, which has been cut off by landslides

Earthquake relief efforts continue in New Zealand amid aftershocks and heavy rain

Picture by Joe Morgan AP/Press Association Images

Heavy rain and strong winds have been hampering earthquake relief efforts in New Zealand.

The South Island town of Kaikoura has been cut off by landslides, with hundreds of aftershocks also continuing to shake the region.

The aftershocks follow the major quake just after midnight local time on Monday, with different estimates putting the magnitude at either 7.5 or 7.8.

Two people died as a result of the quake, while a series of aftershocks led to a temporary tsunami warning for the east coast of the country.

Hundreds of people are now being moved out of Kaikoura, over fears of more strong aftershocks.

Authorities were hoping to move around 140 people out of the town on Tuesday, including "tourists whose travel plans have been affected".

Megan Whelan, of Radio New Zealand, says supplies are running low in the town.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, she explained: "The town's main water supply was damaged by the quake and subsequent aftershocks.

"There's also then terrible, terrible weather in the rest of the country. Kaikoura hasn't had too much of that bad weather, but Wellington the capital city - which also had a little bit of quake damage - has had quite a bad storm.

"There's been landslides all over Wellington. We at one point all of the roads out of Wellington basically closed because of flooding and slips," she added.

 

In Wellington, it has been reported the area around a damaged office block in the city centre has been cordoned off and evacuated amid concerns over a potential collapse.

Prime Minister Richard Key has visited Kaikoura, and has told reporters they four helicopters are carrying out evacuations from Kaikoura.

The US has also offered two helicopters to assist the ferrying efforts.