Authorities said Saturday that three people had died and at least one was missing after record levels of rainfall pounded New Zealand’s largest city, causing widespread disruption, AP reported.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins flew to Auckland on a military plane after a state of emergency was declared in the region.
He said a break in the weather could prove temporary, with more heavy rain forecast.
Friday was the wettest day ever recorded in Auckland, according to weather agencies, as the amount of rain that would typically fall over the entire summer hit in a single day. On Friday evening, more than 15 centimeters (6 inches) of rain fell in just three hours in some places.
The rain closed highways and poured into homes. Hundreds of people were stranded at Auckland Airport overnight after the airport stopped all flights and parts of the terminal were flooded.
Police said they found one man’s body in a flooded culvert and another in a flooded car park. They said fire and emergency crews found a third body after a landslide brought down a house in the suburb of Remuera. One person remained missing after being swept away by floodwaters, police said.
Hipkins said power had been restored to most places, although about 3,500 homes remained without electricity.
Video posted online showed chest-deep water in some places.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand said crews had responded to more than 700 incidents across the region and staff had taken more than 2,000 emergency calls.
Air New Zealand said it resumed domestic flights in and out of Auckland on Saturday afternoon, but wasn’t yet sure when international flights would resume.