The entire town of Edgecumbe on New Zealand’s North Island has been evacuated, after severe flooding. About 600 homes and 2,000 people are affected, as tractors and boats helped take locals to safety. The rain, caused by the remnants of Cyclone Debbie, which hit Australia a week ago, has caused a river to burst its banks.
The mayor has described the extreme weather as a once-in-500-years event. Heavy rains also flooded roads in Wellington, the capital, and went on to soak New Zealand’s South Island. In Edgecumbe the water is said to be as high as 2m (6.5ft) in some areas. Police have erected barriers to prevent residents from returning.
Police are searching for one man believed missing in floodwaters near the swollen Waikato river.—Agencies