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'Never seen anything like it': Auckland resident speaks to 6 News as city braces for more rain

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

A state of emergency has been declared in the New Zealand city as it experiences its most severe flooding in recorded history.

At least four people are dead after a severe flooding event that has brought more than 150mm of rain in the space of just three hours.

Heavy rainfall has caused widespread damage to homes and property across New Zealand's north island. Transport and critical infrastructure have been affected, with the airport being closed over the weekend and only reopening on Sunday.

Multiple homes have been affected by landslides, including one in Tauranga, southeast of Auckland. Many roads have been inundated with water, cars trying to get through have been unsuccessful, and many have been swept away by flood water.

Public transport was disrupted, with pictures showing a bus trying to make its way through flood waters - carrying concertgoers from a cancelled Elton John concert. Another bus drove through flood waters on Friday, with flood water swamping the vehicle.

Authorities are encouraging people to avoid using public transportation unless it is absolutely essential. It comes after a train derailed northeast of Te Puke due to the ongoing severe weather system.

New Zealand's defence forces have been mobilised to assist with evacuations and setting up shelters for affected residents after newly sworn-in Prime Minister Chris Hipkins toured affected areas.

Jan, an Auckland resident, told 6 News that "no one saw it coming."

FULL INTERVIEW: Auckland resident speaks to 6 News as city braces for more rain (listen here)

The MetService predicts the wild weather will continue until at least Tuesday.

The rain is expected to ease over the next day - with another system expected early in the week.

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