To wit: (Reuters) On Sunday, as authorities assessed the damage in the South Island region hardest hit by four days of torrential rain, New Zealand maintained a state of emergency in those areas.
More than 500 people were displaced by flooding in the north and center of the country last week.
The city of Nelson on the South Island has taken the brunt of the flooding, but towns on the North Island have also been isolated due to high water levels.
But authorities in the Nelson area reported that there were no major weather-related incidents or evacuations overnight.
Emergency management officials said, “We are working as quickly as we can to get people home safely,” adding that they had inspected about half of the affected properties, but that more thorough inspections could take days depending on the weather.
We have a big job to do, and land instability inspections are trickier than flood inspections.
While the severe weather has subsided, Metservice is still advising people to prepare for heavy rain in western Tasman and Fiordland on the South Island.
Local, regional, and national emergency officials have all confirmed that the current states of emergency in the Marlborough, West Coast, and Nelson-Tasman regions will continue.
The agency urged New Zealanders to “listen to local authorities and follow any instructions to evacuate” on its website (https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/). You should self-evacuate if you feel unsafe.
The minister of emergency management, Kieran McAnulty, thanked rescuers on Saturday but warned that recovery would be “long and difficult.”
(Sam McKeith filed this report, and Clarence Fernandez edited it)
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