Sydney Jan. 27 (BNA): A state of emergency was declared in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, on Friday as heavy rains triggered widespread flooding and evacuations, forcing the city’s airports to close.
Oakland Mayor Wayne Brown declared the emergency due to the extent of the “damage, displacement and disruption” caused by the weather and the need for response agencies to draw on more powers, reports Reuters.
Auckland Emergency Management said in a post on Twitter that the northern, northwest and western parts of the city have been affected by significant flooding, and conditions are expected to worsen.
The agency advised residents in flood-prone areas to prepare to evacuate and opened an evacuation center in West Auckland.
The floods also closed major roads, causing long traffic queues on the highways. Police said they are working with Fire and Emergency New Zealand to respond to calls and have asked people to stay off the roads if possible.
Auckland Airport closed both its domestic and international airports due to widespread flooding. Pictures on social media showed the check-in area of the international terminal knee-deep in floodwaters.