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Page last updated at 21:25 GMT, Monday, 5 October 2009 22:25 UK

Freak snow storm hits New Zealand

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A freak snow storm has left hundreds of people stranded and unable to return to their homes in New Zealand's central North Island.

A state of emergency was declared after heavy snow trapped around 700 people in their vehicles on two of the country's major roads.

The bad weather, which is highly irregular at this time of year, has forced many to take refuge in nearby community centres.

Charlotte Whale reports.

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