State of emergency declared in three regions, road access to Dunedin city blocked and flood warning signs run out after heavy rain and landslides

A ferocious storm has buffeted the lower South Island of New Zealand overnight, with three states of emergency declared in Christchurch, Timaru and Otago and the city of Dunedin accessible only by air.

The southern city of 120,000 people was cut off by road after major landslips blocked access. Small coastal communities on the Otago Penninsula are also cut off.

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