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Queenstown, New Zealand, is facing a dire weather crisis as heavy rainfall poses significant risks of slips and flooding. In response to the escalating Queenstown flooding, the city declared a state of emergency for seven days. The decision, prompted by the relentless downpours and mounting concerns, underscores the urgent need for coordinated action.
Queenstown Mayor Glyn Lewers emphasized the necessity of this declaration, recognizing the considerable rainfall the city has endured. “This is not a static issue; it’s an active and evolving weather event,” Lewers explained that the district council has been working tirelessly with emergency management to assess the full extent of the situation as it unfolds.
The repercussions of the relentless Queenstown flooding and debris events have been evident. The city’s council has been actively reaching out to those affected, with more than 100 people evacuated from vulnerable areas. A temporary evacuation center has been set up to accommodate those unable to relocate to safer ground.
The flooding crisis has not spared Queenstown’s renowned attractions. The recently expanded and relaunched Skyline Queenstown gondola was temporarily closed due to slips and flooding. Additionally, the road to Glenorchy, known for its association with “The Lord of the Rings” filming locations, has been cut off due to a surge in the lake level.
Queenstown’s plight is not isolated, as a regional state of emergency remains in place for neighboring Southland. Here, the Queenstown flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rainfall have disrupted normal life. Schools and kindergartens in the area have been forced to close in response to the flooding.
Adding to Queenstown’s woes, the city has recently been dealing with a gut parasite infection. A boil water notice is now in effect for businesses and properties across Queenstown following a cryptosporidium outbreak, with 21 confirmed cases reported. Cryptosporidium is a parasite that can infect individuals through fecal matter and can be transmitted through water supplies.
As Queenstown flooding compounds the dual challenges of relentless rain and a parasitic outbreak, the declaration of a state of emergency underscores the gravity of the situation. Immediate actions are being taken to safeguard residents and mitigate the impact of these crises. Local authorities and emergency services are working tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of the affected communities.
The resilience of Queenstown residents, coupled with the coordinated efforts of emergency responders, will be instrumental in overcoming these challenges and returning the city to a state of normalcy. Our thoughts are with the people of Queenstown as they weather this storm and navigate the road to recovery.