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Rain Pounds New Zealand’s Largest City, Killing 3 And Leaving 1 Missing

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Rain Pounds New Zealand's Largest City, Killing 3 And Leaving 1 Missing

(CTN NEWS) – WELLINGTON, New Zealand –  Authorities reported three fatalities and one person missing after unprecedented rainfall battered New Zealand’s largest metropolis and caused significant inconvenience.

After a state of emergency was declared in the area, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins boarded a military aircraft and departed for Auckland.

According to Hipkins, our top goal is to ensure that Aucklanders are secure, have a place to live, and can access the key services they require.

He warned that a major clean-up was coming to the city and advised residents to stay inside if possible. He warned that a break in the weather might only be temporary because more torrential rain is expected.

Hipkins declared that this incident was unparalleled in recent recollection.

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister Chris Hipkins sit in a military plane Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023 bound for Auckland to assess the rain and flooding damage. Torrential rain and flooding continued to cause widespread disruption to New Zealand’s largest city. (Ryan Benton/Pool Photo via AP)

The amount of rain that would ordinarily fall throughout the summer fell on Friday, making it the wettest day ever recorded in Auckland.

Some areas received more than 15 cm (6 inches) of rain on Friday night in just three hours.

Highways were stopped, and residences were flooded. At Auckland Airport, hundreds of passengers were left overnight after all flights were canceled, and some terminal areas experienced flooding.

The bodies of two men were discovered, according to the police, in flooded ditches and parking lots. After a house in the Remuera suburb was destroyed by a landslide, it was reported that rescue personnel discovered a third body.

According to authorities, one person carried away by floodwaters is still missing.

Hipkins reported that while most areas had power again, roughly 3,500 homes were still without it.

Rain Pounds New Zealands Larges

Emergency workers and a man wade through flood waters in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. Torrential rain and wild weather in Auckland causes disruptions throughout the city and an Elton John concert to be canceled just before it was due to start. (Hayden Woodward/New Zealand Herald via AP)

Chest-deep water was visible in certain locations in an online video.

A video of water pouring into homes was released online by legislator Ricardo Menéndez. He wrote, “We just had to leave our house as the water was rising quickly and aggressively.”

More than 2,000 emergency calls were received, according to Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and firefighters attended to more than 700 incidents in the area.

According to district manager Brad Mosby, “We had every available career and volunteer crew on the road responding to the most serious occurrences.”

126 persons who were trapped in homes, cars, or who had been in traffic accidents, according to Mosby, were rescued by rescuers.

Despite not knowing when international flights would restart, Air New Zealand said on Saturday afternoon that it had resumed domestic flights into and out of Auckland.

The airline’s chief operational integrity and safety officer, David Morgan, stated that the flooding “has had a tremendous impact on our Auckland operations.”

“We’re striving to deliver passengers to their final destinations while repositioning our employees and aircraft. Getting everything back on track can take a few days.”

After hundreds of people spent the night at the terminal, Auckland Airport reported in a series of updates on Twitter that individuals were permitted to depart the airport early on Saturday for their homes or other accommodations.

It’s been a long and difficult night at Auckland Airport; we appreciate everyone’s perseverance, the airport tweeted.

The airport noted that we can now not return your checked bags due to earlier flooding in the baggage hall. “Your airline will set up its return at a later time,” was the statement.

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A truck is stopped by flood water near Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. Torrential rain and wild weather in Auckland causes disruptions throughout the city and an Elton John concert to be canceled just before it was due to start. (Jed Bradley/New Zealand Herald via AP)

A Friday night Elton John concert was also postponed moments before it was scheduled to begin owing to the storm. John’s second scheduled performance at the stadium on Saturday night was also postponed.

Each concert at Mount Smart Stadium was anticipated to draw around 40,000 spectators. On Friday night, thousands of people had already arrived at the venue when organizers decided to postpone just before John was scheduled to take the stage at 7:30 p.m.

The decision hadn’t been made hours before, which infuriated many concertgoers who had withstood the weather.

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown rejected allegations that his administration failed to adequately convey the gravity of the issue and delayed announcing an emergency until Friday night at about 9:30 p.m.

He said that professionals advised on the timing of the emergency declaration.

Brown answered, “We’ll go over everything that happened. We must confirm that our coordination and public consultation were proper.”

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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