AUCKLAND-At least three people died and one is still missing after New Zealand’s largest city was hit by record rainfall and flooding, state-run media said on Saturday. Local authorities in the Auckland region also declared a state of emergency and urged residents to remain at home, Radio New Zealand reported.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins also arrived in the city after the mayor declared a seven-day state of emergency. “This is an unprecedented event. Be kind, be patient. You’ll get through this,” Hipkins Tweeted. “My thoughts are with everyone in Auckland as they wake up this morning to survey the damage and as they face an uncertain day ahead.
Look out for each other. We will get as much support to you as we can,” he added.
MetService, the national weather service, also issued a red-level rain warning for the area after the city received 238mm of rain on Friday.
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Authorities have also set up emergency accommodation centers at different locations, as hundreds of people have been shifted to safe places. The rain and flood also caused the closure of highways, while hundreds of people were stranded at Auckland Airport after all flights were canceled due to floodwaters entering some areas of the terminal. “Many roads are closed in the region due to flooding and slips, making it extremely dangerous to be on the roads,” New Zealand police said in a statement.