The “wettest day on record” occurred on Friday in New Zealand’s largest city, leaving at least three people dead and one missing.
In just 15 hours, Auckland reportedly received 75% of its typical summer rainfall.
As officials dealt with significant floods and evacuations, a local state of emergency was issued.
Chris Hipkins, the prime minister of New Zealand, congratulated the emergency services for their prompt response to the catastrophe.
The new prime minister traveled to Auckland, where he also visited with the families of those who perished in the floods to offer his condolences.
In a press conference on Saturday afternoon, he added, “The loss of life highlights the tremendous scale of this weather event and how swiftly it became terrible.”
The downpour moved houses, flooded the airport, and caused homes to lose electricity for several hours.
The defense forces of New Zealand were activated to help with evacuations, and emergency shelters were built up all throughout the city.
Green MP Ricardo Menendez March, who lives in Auckland, told the BBC that he had to flee after his neighborhood immediately began to flood but was provided shelter by a friend nearby.
Low-income areas, persons with disabilities, and immigrant communities, among others, “were regrettably not as fortunate,” he said.
Online video showed rescuers using kayaks to carry out evacuations when people were caught in floodwater up to their waists. In other images, food goods could be seen floating down the aisles of a number of flooded stores.
There were no foreign arrivals before 07:00 on Sunday, and there were no international departures from Auckland airport until at least 05:00 local time.
According to Auckland Emergency Management (AEM), they are now concentrating on cleaning up after the rain rather than on evacuations.
They tweeted that locals should “not let today’s ‘minimal rain’ fool you into planning a weekend day out” and urged them to avoid traveling unless absolutely necessary.
The MetService has expected further severe weather for Auckland through Tuesday.
According to the nation’s leading authority on climate science, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Friday was the wettest day on record for several Auckland sites. Various areas of the city were expected to experience heavy rain for at least the next five days.
We need to talk about how places like Auckland are drastically underprepared for these disasters and how climate change is making them more frequent, according to Mr. March.
The warming world is causing more extreme weather in New Zealand, according to study by NIWA, despite the fact that climate scientists have warned against linking specific weather events to climate change.