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3 cows stranded on tiny ‘island’ after huge New Zealand quake

KAIKOURA, New Zealand — Three New Zealand cows found themselves stranded on a small island of grass after an earthquake triggered landslides that swallowed the Earth around them.

Footage from New Zealand’s Newshub shows two cows and a calf trapped near the coastal community of Kaikoura, where the 7.8-magnitude quake struck Monday.

Kaikoura is some 55 miles northeast of Christchurch. It’s where the deadly quake struck just after midnight, and caused a series of aftershocks.

A series of powerful earthquakes jolted New Zealand’s South Island on Monday, triggering a tsunami and sending aftershocks across the country that left at least two dead, officials said.

It triggered waves of 8 feet above usual tide levels, the highest he has seen in his 38 years in New Zealand, Philip Duncan of Weather Watch New Zealand said.

An initial tsunami warning was lifted but temblors continued Monday afternoon. A 6.2-magnitude quake struck around 1:30 p.m. farther north of Christchurch.

Prime Minister John Key posted a short video to YouTube after surveying the damage.

“It’s hard to see how those roads, neither north nor south, will be opened very easily,” he said.

“In the short term what we’re trying to do is make sure that the people of Kaikoura and the likes have food, water, help and backup.

“I’d say it’s billions of dollars worth of money that we have to spend here but we’re focused on what we’re doing and we’ll keep up the good work.”

Aftershocks

At least 42 seismic events have been recorded in the area in the last day, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

New Zealand is a South Pacific nation of islands, the two largest being the North and South islands, which are home to most of the population. Aftershocks from South Island reverberated all the way to Wellington, the country’s capital on the North Island, where residents were told to stay indoors Monday.

The New Zealand Defense Force posted aerial images of a huge landslide in the northern part of the South Island, which blocked the road from Christchurch to Kaikoura.

“It is clear from the photos taken by our personnel that the major route from Christchurch to Kaikoura is impassable, Air Commodore Darryn Webb, Acting Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said.

“So is the road from Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs and the one from Blenheim to Kaikoura,”

The Marlborough government emergency services Twitter account tweeted around 4 p.m. (9 p.m. MST), that a dam on the Clarence River had breached and a “large wall of water” was “heading downstream.” Authorities urged residents to seek higher ground.

The regional government also confirmed that a group of kayakers who had previously been feared lost on the river was found and evacuated.

“Other groups are understood to be in the area, a well-known whitewater rafting location, however it is understood they are well above the danger area,” a media release said.