A group of high school students, along with a teacher and instructor, were in the cave, which is “prone to flooding,” according to the city’s website. Things went wrong around 10:30am, but all but one student was brought to safety. A search and rescue operation has been launched.
On Tuesday morning, more than 45 millimeters of rain fell in an hour, according to Meteorological Department NIWA. Images show flooded streets and roads in the North Island. Several highways are closed and people trying to leave the affected areas are asked to be patient. Many schools and institutions have already closed their doors.
Auckland’s mayor is currently in Sydney and will return early due to severe weather. He says the state of emergency has been declared “as a precautionary measure”. In February, he came under fire only for declaring a state of emergency when the city’s downtown and airport were already flooded. 4 people died in this flood.
New Zealand has often been hit by severe weather this year. Storm Gabriel hit the country after flooding in Auckland in February. Eleven people died and a national emergency was declared for the third time in New Zealand’s history.
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