Wellington, Aug 19 (IANS) More than 400 homes in Nelson of New Zealand's South Island were evacuated on Friday aftercontinued heavy rain, flooding and landslides lashed the region.
Local states of emergency remained in place for the West Coast and Nelson-Tasman regions due to the current severe weather, according to the National Emergency Management Agency.
The agency said in a statement that severe weather has caused flooding that requires evacuations, with further impacts possible.
Hundreds of locals could not return to their homes for a second night due to prolonged heavy rain, flooding and high winds this week, as the Maitai River, which runs through Nelson, has burst its banks, reports Xinhua news agency.
Civil Defence teams have been helping residents in flooded streets.
A large atmospheric river of warm moist air from the tropics continues to bring extreme amounts of rain to parts of New Zealand on Friday and into the weekend.
Red heavy rain warnings have been updated for Nelson, Buller, and Westland in the South Island, which are reserved for only the most extreme weather events, according to MetService, New Zealand's national weather authority.
The state highway leading to Nelson has been closed due to slips and flooding.
The government is making an initial contribution of NZ$200,000 ($124,794) to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Nelson-Tasman.
New Zealand has experienced one of the wettest winters due to more severe weather this year, with many places breaking their rainfall record or having well above average rainfall.
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