Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / World / Asia-Pacific

Torrential downpours and flooding in NZ wreak havoc and leave four dead

Updated: 2023-01-30 07:47
Share - WeChat
An area flooded during heavy rainfall is seen in Auckland, New Zealand January 27, 2023, in this screen grab obtained from a social media video. [Photo/Agencies]

WELLINGTON — New Zealand's death toll from heavy rain rose to four on Sunday, as flash floods and landslides in the North Island continued for a third day.

Battered by record-breaking rainfall since Friday, New Zealand's largest city Auckland remained under a state of emergency. MetService, the country's weather forecaster, warned of more severe weather on Sunday and Monday. Intense rainfall could also cause surface and flash flooding, it said.

"We know that there is potential for more adverse weather tonight," Auckland Emergency Management controller Rachel Kelleher said.

The emergency covers large swaths of the north island, with Waitomo District declaring a state of emergency late on Saturday.

A man missing after being swept away on Friday in Onewhero, a rural village about 70 kilometers south of Auckland, was confirmed dead, police said.

"The most horrific part of it is that we've lost lives," Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni said in Auckland.

Climate change is causing episodes of heavy rainfall to become more common and more intense in New Zealand, though 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 flooding.

Police said on Sunday that they were assisting with traffic management and road closures in Waitomo after heavy rainfall "caused numerous slips, flooding and damage to roads".

In nearby Bay of Plenty, police said there was also "widespread flooding", as well as a landslide that had knocked down a house.

Thousands of properties remained without power, while hundreds were without water, authorities said.

Still, an Air New Zealand spokesperson said international flights in and out of Auckland, disrupted from Friday, would resume at noon on Sunday.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, who has just assumed office, flew by helicopter over Auckland on Saturday and toured flood-hit homes. He described the flood impact as "unprecedented" in recent memory.


Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349