Weeks after the cyclone hit Australia the remaining low is causing havoc in New Zealand, a town has been evacuated after floodwaters surged through its streets in a “one-in-a-500-year event” in the wake of a weather system that was cyclone Debbie. The 2,000 inhabitants of the township of Edgecumbe in the northeast of the North Island, were evacuated by jetboats, farm vehicles and a school bus, Radio New Zealand reported.
According to the Metservice, the region around Edgecombe recorded more than two months’ worth of rain over a two-day period. The weather system is now moving south, continuing to cause havoc. The South Island town of Kaikoura, badly damaged in a magnitude-7.8 earthquake in November, has already been cut off after rain caused mudslides that blocked a highway, the National Transport Agency said. Elsewhere across the island, emergency services were working to clear blocked roads and restore power to isolated communities. Medical supplies and food were being flown in by helicopter.
Prime Minister Bill English was due to visit Edgecumbe, to inspect the damage last on Friday.