MELBOURNE (Reuters) – New Zealand’s meteorological service issued severe thunderstorm warnings for parts of New Zealand on Sunday after wild weather over the weekend caused flooding, road closures and landslides.
The Timaru district in New Zealand’s South Island has been in a state of emergency since Saturday after heavy downpours caused widespread flooding.
The weather has also caused havoc around Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, with roads closed and public urged to avoid flood waters and the sea until further notice, according to information posted on some city councils’ social media sites.
“Thunderstorms are expected to bring strong winds and squally conditions,” MetService, New Zealand’s meteorological service, said on Twitter.
Radio New Zealand reported on Sunday that there were several tourists stranded at a campground in Whataroa, a small township on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, which was cut off by slips and washouts.
The owner of a backpacker hostel and campground in Whataroa, Madeleine Dennehy, said a few campervans had arrived at her hostel in early hours on Sunday seeking shelter.
“There are flooding signs there but people don’t understand what happens to our rivers here, that they just go nuts,” RNZ cited Dennehy as saying.
Writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Himani Sarkar