An aerial photo taken Monday shows earthquake damage to State Highway One near Ohau Point in New Zealand, a day after a powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake killed two people and caused massive infrastructure damage.
The Waiau Lodge Hotel, in Waiau, about 75 miles north of Christchurch, New Zealand, shows damage on Monday in the aftermath of a strong earthquake.
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After a powerful earthquake struck New Zealand on Sunday, several vital railroads and highways have been destroyed, stranding more than a thousand people in the affected region.
At least two people died in the Sunday night earthquake, which was magnitude 7.8 and triggered a small tsunami.
Since then, visitors and residents alike have also been grappling with a series of aftershocks — including several at magnitude 6.0 or higher.
Amora Hotel guests gather in a parking lot in Wellington, New Zealand, on Monday, a day after a powerful earthquake struck the region. A series of aftershocks kept residents and tourists on guard.
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Stuart Cohen, reporting for NPR from Sydney, said military aircraft will be taking in tons of supplies and ferrying out hundreds of stranded tourists.
"New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says the damage is worse than expected," Cohen reports. "After flying over the region between Christchurch and the capital, Wellington, that was hardest hit by Sunday night's earthquake, Key told Radio New Zealand he saw the country's main highway and rail lines cut in several places."
Key called the road and rail issues "horrendous."
Hundreds of residents and about a thousand tourists are stuck in the coastal town of Kaikoura without access to functioning roads or trains, The Associated Press reports.
An emergency services worker inspects a bridge crossing the Waiau River in New Zealand on Monday, after a powerful earthquake on Sunday caused widespread infrastructure damage.
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Water supplies and sewer systems were also knocked out by the quake. The wire service has more:
" 'From all directions, Kaikoura has essentially been isolated,' Air Commodore Darryn Webb, the Acting Commander of New Zealand's Joint Forces, told The Associated Press. 'There's a real imperative to support the town because it can't support itself.'
"Webb said the military planned to begin using four NH90 helicopters on Tuesday that could each transport about 18 people out of the town at a time. He said a ship was also leaving Auckland on Monday night that could potentially pick up hundreds of people if weather conditions allowed. ...
"He said the weather forecast wasn't looking great and the operation could take several days. He said that if needed, a C-130 military transport plane could drop fuel, water, food and other supplies to the town."