Auckland declares state of emergency following unprecedented rain

9 Feb 2023 by The Water Diplomat

New Zealand’s largest city Auckland has declared a state of emergency after unprecedented rainfall led to widespread flooding, damage to infrastructure and evacuations. On Friday 27th January, Auckland received 75% of its summer rainfall in a period of 15 hours. By 1 a.m. the meteorological service had observed a record 249 mm of rain, breaking the previous record of 161 mm from 1985. Residents of the worst affected areas were given the order to evacuate, and fire services received thousands of calls for help. The New Zealand Defence Force was called in to assist with emergency operations, as well as to take the Prime Minister Chris Hipkins together with Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty to survey the damage from the air.  A series of civil defence centres

An Elton John concert was cancelled at the last minute, and close to 2000 people were stranded in Auckland airport overnight after the airport was flooded and international flights were cancelled. a flooded airport.  Minister Kieran McAnulty announced the sending of water tankers to the area to ensure a supply of water of sufficient quality and urged residents to cut down on water use in order to reduce wastewater levels.  

Heavy rainfall is amongst the most frequent severe weather hazards experienced in New Zealand, which is defined as rainfall of more than 100 mm in 24 hours. These are in general caused by the remains of tropical cyclones and Tasman sea low pressure zones making landfall.