Death toll rises as New Zealand flood disaster spreads to North Island
The death toll in New Zealand from heavy rain rose to four on Sunday as flash floods and landslides in the North Island continued for a third day.
Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, has been battered since Friday and remains in a state of emergency. The country’s weather forecaster, MetService, warned of worse weather for the North Island on Sunday and Monday. Heavy rains could also cause surface and flash flooding, it said.
“We know there is potential for more adverse weather tonight,” Rachel Kelleher, controller at Auckland Emergency Management, told reporters.
The state of emergency is spreading across much of the North Island, with the Waitomo district about 220 kilometers from Auckland declaring a state of emergency late Saturday.
A man who was swept away on Friday in Onewhero, a rural village about 70 kilometers south of Auckland, has been confirmed dead, police said.
“The worst part is that we lost lives,” said Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni in Auckland, a city of 1.6 million people.
Climate change is causing episodes of heavy rain to become more frequent and intense in New Zealand, although the impact varies by region. Climate Secretary James Shaw on Saturday pointed to the link to climate change when he tweeted his support for those affected by the floods.
Police said Sunday they were assisting with traffic management and road closures in the Waitomo district after heavy rains caused “numerous slips, flooding and road damage”.
https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/deadly-new-zealand-flood-crisis-extends-across-north-island-20230129-p5cg9d.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Death toll rises as New Zealand flood disaster spreads to North Island