New Zealand's South Island was struck by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Monday (11.02 GMT, Sunday), which has left two dead and some communities without power. The New Zealand Ministry of Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) issued a tsunami warning for the eastern coast of North and South Island including the Chatham Islands and advised those in affected coastal areas to move inland or to higher ground.

The quake struck just outside the town of Kaikoura, a popular tourist resort some 110 miles north of Christchurch. Local authorities claim the main road into Kaikoura has been cut off by landslides, adding that telecommunications, water and power supplies have also been severed. People are currently being airlifted to safety from the town according to The Telegraph.

The New Zealand government is working to evacuate all tourists from Kaikoura, and the British government is encouraging British nationals in that area to follow any instructions given to them. "People in coastal areas should one, stay out of the water, two, stay off beaches and shore area, three, do not go sightseeing, four, share this information with family, neighbours and friends, five, listen to the radio and/or TV for updates, six, follow instructions of local civil defense authorities," according to Express.

None of New Zealand's airports have been affected by the quake, but many roads and railways have been ripped up or blocked by landslides. New Zealand authorities are still warning of the risk of aftershocks in the area. And while the tsunami warning has been lifted, people staying near the coast are advised to exercise extreme care, especially given that bad weather is predicted.

There are thousands of earthquakes in New Zealand every year, but most of them are not felt because they are either small, or very deep within the earth. If your trip has been affected by the earthquakes, then your tour operator will be contractually obliged to provide suitable alternative arrangements or offer a refund. If you simply want to cancel your trip out of choice, it is unlikely you will be entitled to a refund.