Further significant flooding is forecast to hit Auckland, with roads likely to be cut and some communities isolated. [Source: ABC News]
New Zealand officials have asked residents in flood-ravaged Auckland to prepare for the onslaught of another storm as residents start a clean-up after a series of floods and landslips across New Zealand’s largest city over the weekend.
Four people lost their lives in flash floods and landslides that hit Auckland over the last three days amid record downpours.
A state of emergency remains in place in Auckland.
New Zealand weather provider Metservice said there are “deep, moisture-laden clouds with cold tops” heading to the northern part of New Zealand, and has issued heavy rain warnings for much of the north of the country from Tuesday afternoon.
“This rain is expected to cause dangerous river conditions and significant flooding slips and floodwaters are likely to disrupt travel, making some roads impassable and possibly isolating communities,” said Auckland Emergency Management controller Rachel Kelleher.
Auckland has already received record levels of rain in the past four days and sodden ground and full rivers mean new rainfall brings increased risks.
Beaches around the city of 1.6 million are off-limits due to contaminated water, several main roads remain closed, and all Auckland schools will remain shut until February 7.
Evacuation centres have been set up across the city.
“There has been very significant damage across Auckland,” New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said on Monday.
“Obviously there were a number of homes damaged by flooding but also extensive earth movements.”
Around 350 people were in need of emergency accommodation, he added.
Ms Kelleher said Auckland domestic airport was now running at full capacity and Auckland International Airport was operating at near capacity and hoped to return to normal operations soon.
The council has designated 77 houses as uninhabitable and has prevented people from entering them.
A further 318 properties were deemed at-risk, with access restricted to certain areas for short periods.
The insurance industry expects the costs associated with the flood to top the $NZ97 million ($88.9 million) spent following the 2021 floods on New Zealand’s West Coast.
Insurance Australia Group’s New Zealand divisions have received more than 5,000 claims so far and Suncorp Group said it had received around 3,000 claims across its Vero and AA Insurance Brands.
New Zealand’s Tower said it had received around 1,900 claims.