New Zealand’s largest city has declared a state of emergency after torrential rain prompted widespread flooding and evacuations.
Friday’s downpour in Auckland shifted houses, stalled traffic, and cut power to homes and businesses. The city received 75 percent of its usual summer rainfall in just 15 hours. Footage online showed people trapped in waist deep floodwater and rescuers carrying out evacuations on kayaks. Other pictures showed grocery items floating down the aisles of several flooded supermarkets.
Auckland’s mayor, Wayne Brown, said infrastructure and emergency services had been “overwhelmed” by the impacts of the storm. Fire and emergency New Zealand said it had been dealing with roughly 15 hundred calls for assistance.
The New Zealand defense force is helping with evacuations and emergency shelters have been set up across the city. Heavy rains have been forecast in various parts of the city for at least the next few days.