Auckland floods set to continue as new rainstorms loom


New Zealand officials on Tuesday asked residents in flood-ravaged Auckland to prepare for the onslaught of another storm as a clean-up following a series of floods and landslips over the weekend kicked-off.

Four people were killed in flash floods and landslides that hit Auckland over the last three days amid record downpours.

A state of emergency is in place in Auckland and Northland, the country's northernmost region.

With more rain on the way, Auckland has already been swamped with record levels in the past four days, and sodden ground and full rivers mean new rainfall brings increased risks of flooding and landslips.

Beaches around the city of 1.6 million are off limits due to contaminated water, several main roads remain closed, and all Auckland schools will remain shut until February 7.

Authorities also set up evacuation centres across the city.

New Zealand weather information provider Metservice forecast another 12 to 24 hours of heavy rain across the country's north from Tuesday afternoon, with up to 120 millimetres expected in parts of Auckland.

"It's lines of heavy rain coming in bands... we do expect impacts during the overnight periods. So (expect) slips, further flooding," MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths said during a televised media briefing.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said his government would accept his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese's offer of help with the floods.

"Absolutely, if there are ways that the Australians can help, we will absolutely take up those offers of support," Hipkins said ahead of a trip to Australia next week.

Auckland Emergency Management controller Rachel Kelleher said Auckland's domestic airport was now running at full capacity, while Auckland International Airport was operating at near capacity and hoped to return to normal operations soon.

National carrier Air New Zealand AIR.NZ said in a statement on Tuesday it had added additional services and increased seat capacity to help customers whose plans had been disrupted by the weather. Of the 9,000 passengers impacted by the weather, it had rebooked 7,800 as of Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the city council has designated 77 houses as uninhabitable and has prevented people from entering them. A further 318 properties were deemed at risk, with access restricted to certain areas for short periods.

The insurance industry expects the costs associated with the flood to top the NZ$97 million ($62.5 million) spent following 2021's floods on New Zealand's West Coast.

More from International