Three people dead and at least one missing as rain pounds Auckland
(See translation in Arabic section)
New Zealand authorities say three people have died and at least one more person is missing after record levels of rainfall pounded Auckland, causing widespread disruption.
Friday was the wettest day ever recorded in Auckland, according to weather agencies, as the amount of rain that would typically fall over the entire summer hit in a single day.
On Friday evening, more than 150 millimetres of rain fell in just three hours in some places.
The rain has closed highways and poured into homes.
A state of emergency has been declared for the Auckland region with the nation's new prime minister, Chris Hipkins, flying to the city on a military plane to assess the damage.
Mr Hipkins described the deluge as "an unprecedented event in recent memory," and warned Aucklanders to remain indoors if possible.
"Our priority is to ensure that Aucklanders are safe, that they're housed and that they have access to the essential services that they need," Mr Hipkins said.
He said a break in the weather could prove temporary, with more heavy rain forecast.
Police said they found one man's body on Friday evening in a flooded culvert and another man's body early on Saturday in a flooded carpark.
They said a third man had been reported missing after being swept away by floodwaters while a fourth person remained unaccounted for after a landslide brought down a house in the suburb of Remuera.
Mr Hipkins later said three people had been confirmed dead, while at least one remained missing.
He said power had been restored to most places, although about 3,500 homes remained without electricity.
Video posted online showed chest-deep water in some places.
Politician Ricardo Menéndez posted a video of water surging into houses.
"We've just had to evacuate our home as the water was already rising rapidly and coming in aggressively," he tweeted.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand said crews had responded to more than 700 incidents across the region, and that staff had taken more than 2,000 emergency calls.
"We had every available career and volunteer crew on the road, responding to the most-serious events," district manager Brad Mosby said.
Mr Mosby said crews had rescued 126 people who were trapped in houses or cars, or who had been involved in vehicle crashes.
Air New Zealand said it resumed domestic flights in and out of Auckland on Saturday afternoon, but was not yet sure when international flights would resume.
"The flooding has had a huge impact our Auckland operations," the airline's chief operational integrity and safety officer, David Morgan, said.
"We're working on getting customers to their final destinations and getting our crew and aircraft back in the right place. It might take a few days to get everything back on track."