Authorities say at least three people have died after the extreme rain in New Zealand's largest city, Auckland. Another person is still missing, police said on Saturday. New Zealand's new Prime Minister Chris Hipkins flew to the North Island city on Saturday.
His top priority is keeping the metropolis' 1.6 million residents safe, he said. Parts of Auckland International Airport, New Zealand's largest, were also flooded. The airport announced that no international flight would take off until at least Sunday.
Authorities spoke of the "wettest day" since records began and declared a state of emergency. The city government warned on Saturday that rain could continue to fall over the weekend.
Large parts of the metropolis were still under water on Saturday. According to the police, the three dead were found independently of each other. One of the victims was therefore in a flooded parking garage. Another died when a landslide hit a house.
The National Research Institute NIWA said that in some areas of the city, 80 percent of the rainfall that is otherwise measured all summer fell within 15 hours. The suburbs of Kumeu and Albany were particularly hard hit.
The fire brigade was already in action on Friday with kayaks and jet skis to rescue people from their homes.
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