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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Auckland weather: Flood-hit region suffers more heavy rain

Flooding in AucklandGetty Images

More heavy rainfall has brought havoc to the New Zealand city of Auckland, downing trees, flooding homes and closing major roads.

Weather watchers said more than a month of rain had fallen in 24 hours, affecting roads and rail, as the region reels from deadly floods last week.

Four people were killed and thousands of homes were damaged by the heavy downpours on Friday.

Residents in vulnerable areas had been told to prepare to evacuate if needed.

A precautionary state of emergency was declared on Monday in Northland, the country’s northernmost region, where “unprecedented” rainfall was expected.

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown said the predicted heavy rainfall “could be more dangerous than Friday’s” due to backlogged storm water systems across the region.

Heavy rainfall on the motorways

Reuters

Overnight, motorways were once again flooded and several motorists were stranded on streets and forced to abandon their vehicles.

New Zealand weather forecaster MetService said that although the situation has now calmed, thunderstorms and heavy downpours were still possible in elsewhere until late Wednesday afternoon.

The situation in Coromandel and Bay of Plenty, where a heavy rain red warning remains, is currently the main concern.

Physical attendance at Auckland schools had already been suspended last week until 7 February in anticipation of further bad weather and the need to keep roads clear to repair critical infrastructure.

The country’s new prime minister, Chris Hipkins, addressed the extreme weather, saying it was the result of climate change.

He told local outlet 1News: “Climate change is real, it’s with us.

“We are going to have to deal with more of these extreme weather events in the near future; we need to be prepared for that and we need to do everything we can to combat the challenges of climate change.”

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