Rains battering New Zealand ease but more people forced from their homes

Torrential rains eased across northern and central parts of New Zealand on Saturday after four days of downpours forced hundreds of people from their homes, although there were 100 new evacuations during the night.

The town of Nelson in the south of the island was the hardest hit, with hundreds of homes evacuated over the week and some rendered uninhabitable. Towns on the North Island were also cut off, as flooding submerged roads and homes.

“Things ahead look quite different from last week,” said the The Metservice meteorologist said in a Twitter post.

“Most of the rainfall activity is still mostly in the west, but with much lower accumulations.”

Torrential rains eased across northern and central parts of New Zealand on Saturday after days of downpours that forced hundreds of people from their homes. The town of Nelson in the south of the island was the hardest hit, with hundreds of homes evacuated over the week and some rendered uninhabitable.

Yang Liu | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Earlier, he said the warnings and watch alerts were lifted after the rain subsided in northern and central regions.

But there were about 100 new evacuations overnight, the New Zealand Herald said.

In the Tasman district neighboring Nelson, a total of 508 homes have been evacuated, emergency authorities said, and the figure could rise.

“It is expected to increase further,” Nelson Tasman Civil Defense officials said on Facebook.

Overnight rains widened flooding to the Cannan-Upper Takaka area and the Richmond Ranges, they added.

A heavy rain warning remains in southern Fiordland in the South Island.

“A few fronts are expected to affect Fiordland from this afternoon into Sunday morning bringing a period of heavy rain,” Metservice said on its website.

Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate said concerned New Zealanders were in their thoughts.

“Seeing the devastation wrought by the floods in New Zealand reminds us of the Herculean effort we all have to make to protect our planet,” the royal couple posted on Twitter.



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