Emergency Declared in New Zealand as Auckland Experiences Torrential Rains

Guwahati: The largest city in New Zealand, Auckland declared a state of emergency after massive flooding was brought to an abrupt halt by severe rain.

Heavy rains caused power outages, airport flooding, backed-up traffic and flooded homes. In just 15 hours, Auckland reportedly received 75% of its typical summer rainfall.

The national forecaster said, “The impacts of the last 24 hours will be felt by many in Auckland for a long time.”

A body was discovered in Wairau Valley on Auckland’s North Shore, according to media reports, which were corroborated by the city’s mayor, Wayne Brown. Brown expressed his “great sadness” about the information. Police in the area have not yet confirmed whether the death was caused by flooding.

He claimed that the storm’s effects have “overwhelmed” the emergency services and infrastructure. In a statement, Fire and Emergency New Zealand stated that it had to handle about 1,500 calls for assistance.

The New Zealand Defense Force is assisting with the citywide evacuation and relief activities. The mayor has been accused of being overly cautious while announcing a state of emergency. However, Brown justified himself by stating he took expert guidance.

Ricardo Menendez March, a Green MP and resident of Auckland was cited by the BBC as saying that although he had to flee his home after it swiftly began to flood, he was provided sanctuary by a friend nearby.

He said, “There were people who were unfortunately not as lucky – low-income communities, disabled people, migrant communities as well.”

The floodwaters have closed a number of important thoroughfares, resulting in traffic jams and accidents on motorways. Additionally, traffic to and from Auckland Airport has been hampered by the floodwaters. International and domestic flights have been cancelled at least through Saturday noon.

Chris Hipkins, the recently elected prime minister of New Zealand, tweeted that the country’s parliament in Wellington, known as “Beehive Bunker,” has been assisting in the coordination of the emergency response. Today, he’s scheduled to fly to Auckland.

Furthermore, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), several places in Auckland experienced its wettest day ever on Friday. Additionally, it indicated that heavy rains would fall in different areas of the city for at least the following five days.

In addition, March said, “It goes without saying that we need to have a conversation about how climate change is making these events more frequent and how cities like Auckland are massively underprepared.”

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