New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said on Saturday that three people have died and at least one is missing in New Zealand due to torrential rains.
“The loss of life underscores the enormity of this weather event and how quickly it turned tragic,” Hipkins said at a press briefing after his meeting with emergency services, as reported by CNN. Hipkins also surveyed the damage in Auckland.
“It’s clear that this is going to be a big cleanup,” Hipkins was quoted as saying by CNN.
On Saturday, Hipkins traveled to Wainuapai, north of Auckland, to visit flood-affected communities.
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“My thoughts are with everyone in Auckland as they wake up this morning to survey the damage and face an uncertain day ahead,” Hipkins said on social media, according to CNN.
He wrote, “Take care of each other. We will get all the support you can get. This is an unprecedented event. Be kind, be patient. You will get out of this.”
He said that his visit to Auckland was delayed due to the weather.
Several events in the city have been cancelled, including a concert by Elton John. The singer said he is “completely heartbroken” that Friday’s concert could not go ahead.
“I was at the venue determined to play because the weather reports we had received beforehand were not entirely conclusive,” he wrote, according to CNN.
Concert promoter Frontier Touring confirmed on Twitter that Saturday’s show has also been cancelled.
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