Auckland floods: Death toll rises as New Zealand hit by heavier rains and landslides | New Zealand

Heavy rains continued to batter New Zealand’s North Island, causing landslides, flash floods and rutted roads, with the death toll rising to four after one person was confirmed missing dead.

Battered by rain since Friday, Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city with 1.6 million inhabitants, remained under a state of emergency on Sunday. The country’s weather forecaster, MetService, warned of more severe weather on Sunday and Monday for the North Island. Intense rainfall could also cause surface flooding and flash flooding, he said.

The focus of the emergency has since moved south, with the Waitomo district – located around 220km (137 miles) from Auckland – declaring a state of emergency on Saturday evening.

Police have confirmed that a man who went missing after being carried away from Onewhero, a rural village about 70km (43 miles) south of Auckland on Friday, has died.

“The most horrible thing is that we have lost lives,” Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni told reporters in Auckland.

Climate change is making heavy rainfall events more frequent and intense in New Zealand, although the impact varies by region. Climate Change Minister James Shaw noted the link to climate change on Saturday when he tweeted his support for those affected by the floods.

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the AKL floods πŸ’š

Thanks to community leaders @RichardHills_ @_chloeswarbrick and others to share critical updates.

It’s climate change.

We all have a responsibility to ensure that the New Zealand we leave to our children is safe and livable.

β€”James Shaw (@jamespeshaw) January 28, 2023

On Sunday, police said they were helping with traffic management and road closures in this area after heavy rain “caused extensive landslides, flooding and road damage”.

In nearby Abondance Bay, there was also “widespread flooding”, police said, as well as a landslide that toppled a house and threatened nearby properties.

Thousands of properties were left without power, while hundreds were without water, authorities said on Sunday.

But Air New Zealand said the airline’s international flights to and from Auckland would resume from midday Sunday (2300 GMT Saturday).

On Saturday, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, in office for less than a week, flew over Auckland in a helicopter before visiting flood-affected homes. He described the impact of flooding in the city as “unprecedented” in recent memory.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button