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(Bloomberg) – A fleet of international warships is heading to Kaikoura on New Zealand’s South Island Wednesday to help with the rescue of hundreds of tourists, who are stranded after a massive earthquake blocked roads to the small coastal town.

Military vessels from the U.S., Australia and Canada will accompany four New Zealand naval ships to the area, popular with tourists for its whale-watching operation, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said in a statement. The ships were already en route to the South Pacific nation to participate in the Royal New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary celebrations.

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