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Dead after record rain in Auckland, New Zealand

Authorities say at least three people have died following extreme rain in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. Another person is still missing, police said today. New Zealand’s new Prime Minister Chris Hipkins flew to the North Island town. 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. No international flights will take off until at least tomorrow, the airport said.

state of emergency declared

Authorities spoke of the “wettest day” since records began and declared a state of emergency. The mayor’s office warned that the rain could continue into the weekend.

Large parts of the metropolis are underwater. According to the police, the three dead were found independently of each other. One of the victims was therefore in a flooded garage. Another died when a landslide hit a house.

Unusual amounts of precipitation

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) think tank said that in some areas of the city 80 percent of the precipitation that is measured throughout the summer fell within 15 hours. The suburbs of Kumeu and Albany were particularly hard hit. The fire brigade was mobilized yesterday with kayaks and jet skis to rescue people from their homes.

While individual extreme events cannot be directly attributed to a specific cause, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is clear that extreme weather events such as floods, storms and heat are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of the climate crisis. . . That means: precipitation and storms are getting heavier, heat waves are getting hotter, and droughts are getting drier.