Torrential rains continue to pound New Zealand

North Island hit with floods, landslides and power cuts as heavy rains continue for the fourth straight day.

| Weather, Asia Pacific, New Zealand

Parts of Auckland were under water again on Friday night as torrential rain moved across northern New Zealand, causing flooding and landslides, with more foul weather to come.

Hundreds were without power in Auckland, a house has been left perched above a cliff fall on Waiheke Island and surface flooding hit parts of the city. Nearby, a police car was swept off the road into a swollen creek, leaving an officer stranded on top of the vehicle.

Since Tuesday morning, rain has fallen in a series of bands, with the area around Auckland suffering widespread flooding. Golden Valley in Coromandel recorded more than 250mm of rain in just 24 hours. The Wairoa River near Clevedon, east of Auckland, rose by around five metres in just a few hours.

In the peninsula beyond the city of Auckland, the region of Northland, 210mm of rain was reported in the upper Waitangi River. The figures show that 208mm of rain fell in the eastern hills above Kaeo, a town on the east coast, since Tuesday morning.

To put things in perspective, Auckland’s average for the entire month of March is 87mm. Kaitaia, in Northland, receives about 82mm..

The cause of the massive increase in rainfall is a slow-moving, large area of low pressure over the Tasman Sea. Although it does not look like it will develop further, its longevity is unusual.

The mountainous seas caused by the low required the rescue of the crew from a yacht on a round-the-world voyage. The swell brought waves of nearly 10 metres to the coast of New South Wales in Australia.

Civil defence crews are urging Northlanders to keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts as New Zealand MetService predicted another 100mm-130mm of thundery rain for the north on Friday night.

Severe weather warnings are again in place for Northland, Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty, where another 100mm of rain is expected.

The storm is expected to break by Sunday.

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