NEW ZEALAND: For the third day in a row, torrential rain has lashed the west and north of New Zealand’s South Island, causing hundreds of people to flee their homes, closing roads and schools, and causing the terrain to slide.
Thursday’s storms, which followed many days of rain, are making the already soggy landscape in New Zealand worse.
The rainy weather is being attributed by experts to an “atmospheric river”—a thin stream of water vapor—that is hovering above the nation.
Rains wreak havoc on New Zealanders
Residents of North Island’s northern region were left without access to the highways due to landslides, fallen trees, and floodwaters. Additionally, the bad weather led businesses to close and airlines to cancel flights.
A property in the town of Thunanui fell into a gully as a result of the storm, which also caused the sinking of at least one yacht close to Auckland.
According to statistics from the weather forecaster MetService, the north of the South Island received well over 300mm of rain on the previous day.
For parts of the west of the South Island and the north of the North Island, there are heavy rain warnings in effect.
Nelson city on the South Island has gotten 106mm of rain since noon on Tuesday, far more than the 80mm of rain the city typically receives during the entire month of August.
Minister of disaster management for New Zealand, Kieran McAnulty, visited Nelson and promised to provide a $200,000 initial donation to the mayor’s relief fund to aid the impacted towns.
The largest city in New Zealand, Auckland, is under a severe rain and wind alert on the North Island, with so far no inconvenience being recorded.
With numerous public amenities and highways closed, authorities reported that more than 230 households in Nelson, a city with a population of more than 50,000, have already been evacuated.
Continued rainfall, according to a statement on Nelson Council’s website, might lead to more landslides, flooding, and evacuations.
The mayor of Nelson, Rachel Reese, stated on the television program AM that although the city had survived the night without any significant events, the infrastructure was under stress.
People from 160 homes that had been evacuated over the previous day on the west coast of the island were able to return to their homes to assess the damage, according to a statement from Buller District Council.
However, it issued a warning that further rain was anticipated and that they might need to leave once more.