Six inches (15cm) of torrential rain in 24-hours swamped the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island bringing severe flooding washing out roads and cutting electricity and gas supplies.
Six inches (15cm) of torrential rain in 24-hours swamped the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island bringing severe flooding washing out roads and cutting electricity and gas supplies. An 88-year-old woman was crushed when a landslide engulfed her bedroom and a 66-year-old woman was swept to her death by flood waters.
The town of Nelson was one of the worst hit by the engulfing torrent. Roads were blocked and the town was cut off from surrounding areas.
Residents worked round-the-clock building sandbag protective walls to keep the rising water out of their homes as the Maitai River burst its banks and spilled out over the surrounding countryside. Several families were evacuated from their homes.
Despite the floods, one of Nelson's main problems was a shortage of water. Only one reservoir provided a domestic supply after water mains were badly damaged by the floods. Water carts were used in several districts.
During the storm 500 telephone lines were cut. Engineers, working under difficult conditions battled to get Nelson's telephone links back into operation. Another big hazard is deep mud which was swept into the town.
Representatives of the Government's Earthquake and War Damage Commission immediately went to the area to survey the damage and investigate a large number of claims.