More heavy rain expected for New Zealand’s flood-hit Auckland

Wellington: New Zealand officials on Tuesday asked residents in flood-ravaged Auckland to prepare for the onslaught of another storm as residents start a clean-up following a series of floods and landslips across New Zealand’s biggest city over the weekend.

Four people lost their lives in flash floods and landslides that hit Auckland over the last three days amid record downpours. A state of emergency remains in place in Auckland.

Staff work to repair damage after a slip claimed a power pole in Auckland, New Zealand. Credit:Getty

New Zealand weather provider Metservice said there are “deep, moisture laden clouds with cold tops” heading to the northern part of New Zealand and has issued heavy rain warnings for much of the north of the country from Tuesday afternoon.

“This rain is expected to cause dangerous river conditions and significant flooding slips and floodwaters are likely to disrupt travel, making some roads impassable and possibly isolating communities,” said Auckland Emergency Management controller Rachel Kelleher.

Auckland has already received record levels of rain in the past four days and sodden ground and full rivers mean new rainfall brings increased risks.

Beaches around the city of 1.6 million are off limits due to contaminated water, several main roads remain closed, and all Auckland schools will remain shut until Feb. 7. Evacuation centres have been set up across the city.

Kelleher said Auckland domestic airport was now running at full capacity and Auckland International Airport was operating at near capacity and hoped to return to normal operations soon.

The council has designated 77 houses as uninhabitable and has prevented people from entering them. A further 318 properties were deemed at risk, with access restricted to certain areas for short periods.

The insurance industry expects the costs associated with the flood to top the NZ$97 million spent following the 2021 floods on New Zealand’s West Coast.


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