Australian cyclone aftermath hits New Zealand

The former Tropical Cyclone Debbie continued to pack a punch despite being downgraded to a low pressure system after crossing the Tasman Sea, dumping a month's worth of rain on some areas of the North Island in less than a day.

Australian cyclone aftermath hits New Zealand

World Bulletin / News Desk

The remnants of a deadly Australian cyclone caused havoc as it passed over New Zealand Thursday, causing "one-in-500-year" flooding that forced an entire town to be evacuated.

The major cities of Wellington and Auckland suffered flooding, power cuts and landslides amid an unrelenting downpour.

But the worst-hit area was the rural Bay of Plenty, where the 1,600-strong population of Edgecumbe was evacuated when a levee failed and the township's main river burst its banks.

Whakatane District Council declared a state of emergency, describing the disaster as an "unprecedented one-in-500-year flood event".

Mayor Tony Bonne said the emergency developed quickly, with a policeman running to warn townfolk to flee when he say the river bank was about to collapse.

"(A resident) was driving his vehicle out and looked in his rear-vision mirror and saw a wall of water going towards his home," he told Radio New Zealand.

The military was drafted in to help and Prime Minister Bill English was due to visit the devastated community on Friday.

Last Mod: 06 Nisan 2017, 12:09
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