Three dead as flash flood hits New Zealand’s largest city

Three dead as flash flood hits New Zealand’s largest city

Three people have died and one is missing after torrential rain hit New Zealand‘s largest city.

A state of emergency has been declared across Auckland, home to some 1.6 million people, after it suffered it’s wettest day on record.

On Saturday, Auckland Emergency Management said up to 265 millimetres of rain fell in parts of the city overnight Friday.

Police said three people died and another person was missing in separate incidents.

One man’s body was found in a flooded culvert while the body of another was found in a flooded carpark. A third person died after a landslide hit a house.

Teams were searching for a fourth person who was swept away in floodwaters.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins flew to the city on Saturday and said his priority was to ensure Aucklanders were safe.

“It is clear it is going to be a big clean-up job,” he said.

“The loss of life underscores just the sheer scale of this event, and how quickly it turned tragic.”

Fire crews handled more than 2,000 calls and undertook 126 rescues, district manager Brad Mosby of Fire and Emergency New Zealand said.

“This was an unprecedented number of calls and we had to prioritise. We had every available career and volunteer crew on the road responding to the most serious events.”

At the airport, the country’s largest, no international flights would be able to depart or land until at least Sunday.

Some 245 millimetres of rain fell at the airport in 24 hours. The previous record was 161.8 millimetres in February 1985.