Forty passengers injured as New Zealand storm hits cruise ship
About 40 passengers were injured when the P& O cruise ship Pacific Sun rolled sharply in mountainous seas as a storm lashed New Zealand, news reports said Thursday.
The injured were treated by doctors and nurses on board after the ship on Wednesday night ran into 7-metre swells and was battered by 50-knot winds 600 kilometres north of Auckland, Radio New Zealand reported.
It was due in Auckland Thursday morning, but the storm, which left a trail of destruction as it raged down the country, has delayed its arrival by 24 hours, the dpa reported.
A woman drowned in floodwaters in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand's far north, and her husband was missing Thursday as the storm moved onto the South Island, where a state of emergency was declared in Marlborough province.
Floods and landslides closed roads and blocked railway lines as rivers rose and civil defence workers evacuated homes threatened by rising waters in several regions.
Power was gradually restored to the town of Levin, 95 kilometres north of Wellington, where more than 25,000 households had spent the night without electricity after 130-kilometre-an-hour winds toppled hundreds of trees and brought down utility lines.
But officials said some rural areas could be without power for days.
Forecasters warned that the storm was not over in the south with torrential rains still falling on the east coast and in Canterbury province, threatening more flooding.