A fourth person has been found dead as a result of New Zealand’s catastrophic floods on Friday, which have now spread to other parts of the country.
Police said in a statement that Search and Rescue, who had been looking for a person swept away by floodwaters in Waikato’s Onewhero, had found a man’s body.
Formal identification is yet to take place, but police believe it is the missing man.
The body was found by a drone operator, about one km from where he went missing.
“Police have been overwhelmed by the way the community has rallied around and gone above and beyond to assist with the search,” the statement said.
“Locals have offered their time and effort, food, and support to others around them at this extremely difficult time.”
At a media conference this afternoon, Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni said the death of four people was “horrific”.
“I think it’s been a traumatic experience … That’s the most horrific part of it that we’ve lost lives.
“Clearly alongside every Aucklander and New Zealander we share in our condolences and sadness with that person’s family.”
In previous media conferences, Auckland mayor Wayne Brown and Prime Minister Chris Hipkins had also passed on their condolences to the families of those who have died.
Earlier today, police named 34-year-old Daniel Mark Miller as another victim of the floods.
Miller was found dead in a culvert on Target Road in Wairau Valley on Friday.
“Police extend their sympathies to his family and friends.”
Another person was found dead after a landslide brought down a house on Remuera’s Shore Rd.
RNZ understands that the man was a beloved volunteer at Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT), Dave Lennard.
Friends are paying tribute to him on social media.
Stuff reports that Lennard, in his 80s, was much loved at MOTAT.
“He was one of those guys who could make anything and teach himself how to use new equipment with ease,” friend Evan James told Stuff.
A fourth person was also found dead in a flooded carpark on Link Drive, Wairau Valley at 12.30am on Saturday morning.
All deaths will be referred to the coroner, police said.
Countdown to Chaos: As Aucklanders were desperately seeking safety, officials were silent https://t.co/9UJfoke7XQ
— RNZ News (@rnz_news) January 29, 2023
Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz