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New Zealand begins earthquake evacuations

The New Zealand military have begun evacuating Kaikoura. Credit: EBU

New Zealand has begun the rescue operation of about 1,000 tourists and residents of Kaikoura after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the region on Sunday.

The county's defence force said it started to evacuate people by military helicopter from 9am local time.

They said a navy ship from Auckland is due to arrive in the area on Wednesday morning.

Kaikoura is a popular destination for travellers on whale-watching expeditions and is home to 2,000 residents.

However Sunday's earthquake cut water supplies and sewerage systems leaving the entire population stranded.

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All Blacks thrash South Africa to maintain 100% record

New Zealand wing Julian Savea on the rampage. Credit: PA

New Zealand all but secured the Rugby Championship crown as they dominated the second half on their way to a comfortable 41-13 victory over South Africa in Christchurch.

The All Blacks made it four wins out of four as they outscored the Springboks 26-3 after the break, and will now win the tournament barring a bonus-point victory for Argentina against Australia later on Saturday.

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