Christchurch, New Zealand floods causes havoc

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Hillside suburbs in Christchurch, New Zealand have been suffering from torrential rain since Monday night. The Heathcote river burst its banks and caused surface flooding in areas.

Around 60-millimetres of rain has fallen. The Heathcote river in Beckenham has inundated areas in Eastern Terrace, making some roads impassable. Terry Sefton, Christchurch City Council spokesman, said "Eastern Terrace between Birdwood and Sandwich Roads is impassable and some parts of Palentine and Riverlaw terraces are covered in water."

One household near the river has already been evacuated with another twelve also expected to evacuate out of 30 surrounding houses.

Rain has eased slightly and the Christchurch City Council expects people will be able to return to their homes tonight, along with 400 sandbags laid to protect homes.

The Christchurch City Council have set up a welfare centre at Cashmere High School, with meals supplied by the Salvation Army. Civil Defence is also at the school.

Slips in the Port Hills area have also happened, leaving some roads closed and others limited access.