| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Rains pounding New Zealand ease but more forced from homes

The torrential rains that had been plaguing New Zealand’s northern and central regions for four days abated on Saturday, despite the fact that 100 additional evacuations were made overnight.

Nelson, a city on the South Island, has been the most severely impacted, with hundreds of homes being evacuated over the course of the past week and some becoming unusable. As a result of the flooding that flooded roads and residences, towns in the North Island are now now shut off.

“Things going forward look quite different from this past week,” the Metservice weather forecaster said in a Twitter post. “Most of the rainfall activity is still mainly in the west, but with much lower accumulations.”

Earlier, it had said warnings and watch alerts were lifted after rain eased in northern and central areas.

Nelson saw more evacuations on Saturday, said Kieran McAnulty, the emergency management minister, who thanked those assisting in the rescue effort but added that the area’s recovery would be a “long and difficult” process.

“States of emergency remain … in Nelson-Tasman, Marlborough and West Coast,” he said on Twitter.

There were about 100 new evacuations overnight, the New Zealand Herald said.

In the Tasman district neighbouring Nelson, a total of 508 homes had been evacuated, emergency authorities said, and the figure could grow.

“That looks set to increase even more,” Nelson Tasman civil defence officials said on Facebook.

The overnight rains had widened the inundations to the Cannan-Upper Takaka area and the Richmond ranges, they added.

A warning stays for heavy rain in Fiordland on the South Island, Metservice said on its website.

Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate said affected New Zealanders were in their thoughts.

“Seeing the devastation caused by the floods in New Zealand is a reminder of the herculean effort we must all make to protect our planet,” the royal couple posted on Twitter.

  • Reuters