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New Zealand met service issues thunderstorm warning for some parts after weekend floods

Reuters logo Reuters 12/8/2019
a body of water: An aerial view of flood damaged road is seen near Rangitata river in Ealing © Reuters/SAM ANDERSON An aerial view of flood damaged road is seen near Rangitata river in Ealing

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.

a bridge over a body of water: An aerial view of flood damaged road is seen near Rangitata river in Ealing © Reuters/SAM ANDERSON An aerial view of flood damaged road is seen near Rangitata river in Ealing

"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.

a path with trees on the side of a river: A general view shows flood damage on the utility line near Rangitata river in Ealing © Reuters/SAM ANDERSON A general view shows flood damage on the utility line near Rangitata river in Ealing

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)

a flock of birds sitting on top of a sandy beach: Floodwaters are seen on a cracked road on State Highway 58 in Judgeford

Floodwaters are seen on a cracked road on State Highway 58 in Judgeford
© Reuters/STEVE AND LISA KOVACS
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