WELLINGTON (Reuters) – More torrential rains are expected in New Zealand’s largest city on Monday, as insurers factored in the costs of what appears to be the country’s most expensive weather. ever happened.
Four people have died in floods and landslides that have hit Auckland over the past three days amid record rainfall. A state of emergency remains in effect in Auckland. The state of emergency has been lifted in the Waitomo region, south of Auckland.
Flights to and from Auckland airport continue to see delays and cancellations, beaches around the city of 1.6 million people are closed, and all Auckland schools will remain closed until February 7.
“There has been massive damage across Auckland,” New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hepkins told state television station TVNZ on Monday. “Obviously there were a number of homes that were damaged by flooding but also extensive land movements.”
He added that about 350 people are currently in need of emergency housing.
Metservice is forecasting more downpours for the already wet city late Tuesday.
“We’ve got even more bad weather coming and we need to prepare for that,” Rachel Kelleher, the Oakland Emergency Management Duty Superintendent, told a news conference.
Fire and emergency services received 30 callouts Monday night, including responding to a landslide when a garage slid down a hill.
The council designated 69 homes as uninhabitable and banned people from entering them. Another 300 properties have been deemed at risk, with access restricted to certain areas for short periods.
The north of New Zealand’s North Island receives more rain than usual due to the La Nina weather phenomenon.
The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said Oakland already recorded more than eight times the average precipitation in January and 40% of the average annual precipitation.
The face of the faithful is an exorbitant bill
The cleanup cost is expected to exceed the NZ$97 million ($63 million) bill for flooding on the West Coast in 2021 but won’t be anywhere near as costly as the estimated NZ$31 billion insured costs for two major earthquakes in Christchurch in 2010-2011, Insurance Board of New Zealand spokesperson Christian Judge said.
Insurance Group Australia (IAG.AX) The New Zealand divisions have received more than 5,000 claims to date and the Suncorp Group (SUN.AX) It said it has received about 3,000 claims across Vero and AA Insurance Brands. New Zealand Tower (TWR.NZ) It said it had received about 1,900 claims.
“The number of claims is expected to rise further over the coming days, as the event continues to evolve and as customers identify damage to their property,” IAG said in a statement.
Economists say the recovery and rebuilding could add to inflationary pressures in New Zealand as vehicles and household goods must be replaced and there is an increase in construction work needed to repair or rebuild homes and infrastructure damaged by floods.
($1 = 1.5385 New Zealand dollars)
Reporting by Lucy Kramer. Editing by Aurora Ellis and Lincoln Feist
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