The BBC confirmed the declaration of a precautionary emergency in far north New Zealand as parts of the country prepare for more severe weather.
And she added that Northland Emergency Service staff had warned that the area could see unprecedented levels of rain during the period from Tuesday to Wednesday, and the warnings come after the city of Auckland was hit by floods last Friday, which killed four people and damaged thousands of homes.
More floods and bad weather
The authority added that there are fears of the possibility of more heavy rains expected on Tuesday, which may cause more destruction to the city due to the blockage of rainwater drains.
It added that attendance at Auckland schools had been suspended until February 7 in anticipation of further inclement weather and the need to keep roads clear to repair critical infrastructure.
She noted that Auckland airport, where hundreds of people were left stranded after all international and domestic flights were halted on Friday, has sandbags and pumps ready in preparation for possible further flooding, and parts of some major highways north of Auckland remain closed due to large slides caused by the rainfall. heavy rain on Friday and new roads are now being closed by local media.
The country’s new prime minister, Chris Hipkins, said over the weekend that he believed Friday’s severe weather was a result of climate change.
“It’s one weather event out of a hundred and it looks like we’re getting a lot of them right now. I think people can see there’s a message in that.”
This is the first time Northland has been placed under a red weather alert, New Zealand’s highest alert – with 200 mm (7.9 inches) of rain expected in some parts of the region, and residents in vulnerable areas told to prepare to evacuate if needed.
Meteorologists also say that flooding is possible in other parts of the North Island and in the lower part of the South Island.