Cows stranded by New Zealand earthquakes finally rescued

The two adults and a calf were stuck on a tiny patch of grass

Updated: 
Cows stranded by NZ earthquake finally rescued

Three cows left stranded after powerful earthquakes struck New Zealand have been saved.

Incredible aerial showed the two beef cows and a calf stuck on a tiny patch of grass surrounded by devastation.

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The trio were lucky to be left alive after a huge 7.8 magnitude quake struck in Christchurch, with a second 6.2 occurring in South Island.

Since then, regular smaller aftershocks have continued to hit the area.

Video from NewsHubNZ showed the stranded cows clinging onto a patch of grass no more than 50 metres wide above a 20ft drop.

Credits: Getty

Getty

Credits: REUTERS/Anthony Phelps

REUTERS/Anthony Phelps

Credits: REUTERS/Anthony Phelps

But the website now reports the farmer who owns the cattle has managed to save them.

He said "a number of people" helped him dig a track with picks and shovels so they were able to rescue the cows along with a dozen others.

Sadly, he has lost a substantial part of the rest of his livestock.

"They desperately needed water, cows don't like living without water so that was the first requirement, and I think one or two had lost calves in the earthquake so they were a bit distressed," the farmer said.

Credits: Matias Delacroix/Getty Images

The "docile" cows are now said to be recovering from their ordeal.

Meanwhile, search and rescue teams are still scouring the affected areas in New Zealand.

Two people have been confirmed dead as around 700 people were forced to shelter in evacuation zones last night.

Credits: Reuters

More aftershocks are expected to continue throughout the week.

Emergency officials are warning of a tsunami and have urged people living along the east coast to move to higher ground.

Credits: Getty

The first quake struck 57 miles north-northeast of Christchurch just after midnight local time on Monday and shook much of the country.

A second of 6.2 magnitude struck New Zealand's South Island at around 2.20am this morning.

Credits: Reuters

And a third of 5.8 magnitude was reported to have hit at around 7am today.

The devastating cost of rebuilding the country could cost "billions", according to the Prime Minister John Key.

Credits: Reuters

After surveying some of the damage and the subsequent tremors that hit, Key has indicated that it will cost them "a couple of billion dollars", according to Radio New Zealand on Monday.

Credits: Handout via REUTERSHandout via REUTERS

"It's hard to believe that the bill is going to be less than a couple of billion," he told Radio New Zealand, according to their Twitter account.

He added that he cannot rule out the death toll will rise.

Mobile phone lines reopened today after communications across Christchurch went down.

Internet is still down across many parts but text messaging and calling services have resumed.

New Zealand's beautiful islands

New Zealand's beautiful islands