Hundreds of people were evacuated from severe flooding in New Zealand. Authorities declared a state of emergency in three regions of New Zealand’s South Island on Wednesday after a tropical storm with heavy rain caused flooding in several rivers. Important road connections were interrupted due to falling trees. Heavy rains and storms also hit the North Island.
In the town of Nelson alone, on the west coast of the South Island, 233 homes had to be evacuated after a month of rain fell in just 15 hours. The Maitai River became a torrent, flooding houses and streets. Mayor Rachel Reese spoke of an “event of the century”. Rescue teams and soldiers were mobilized. Three people were injured in a North Island road accident after a tree fell on a highway.
The country’s largest insurance company, IAG, has called for an end to construction in an area threatened by flooding. According to statistics, one percent of New Zealand’s homes, 20,000 homes, are in these areas. Climate change is leading to increasingly violent storms across the world.