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21 February 2024

New Zealand roiled by flash floods, landslides for third day

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By WAM

AUCKLAND, 29th January, 2023 (WAM) -- New Zealand's death toll from heavy rain rose to four on Sunday as flash floods and landslides on the north island continued for a third day, Reuters reported.

Battered since Friday, Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, remained under a state of emergency. The nation's weather forecaster, MetService, warned of more severe weather on Sunday and Monday for the north island. Intense rainfall could also cause surface and flash flooding, it said.

Reuters quoted Auckland Emergency Management controller Rachel Kelleher as saying, “We know that there is potential for more adverse weather tonight.”

The emergency covers large swaths of the north island, with Waitomo District about 220 km (140 miles) from Auckland, declaring a state of emergency late on Saturday.

Local police said on Sunday they were assisting with traffic management and road closures in Waitomo District after heavy rainfall "caused numerous slips, flooding and damage to roads".

Thousands of properties remained without power, while hundreds were without water, local authorities said.