Saturday, April 13, 2024

Rescue and evacuations underway at Muriwai

Emergency responders and NZDF members are at Muriwai helping to evacuate residents who have been sheltering in the Muriwai Surf Club following landslips and flooding across Auckland’s west coast.

“It has been an incredibly tough night for communities across Tāmaki Makaurau, especially Muriwai. Our thoughts are with the whānau and the colleagues of the Fire and Emergency New Zealand crew directly involved in responding to the major incident on Motutara Road,” says Deputy Controller, Rachel Kelleher.

A house collapsed at around 10pm last night on Motutara Road, Muriwai as Fire and Emergency was evacuating residents. One Fire and Emergency officer is currently unaccounted for, Ms Kelleher confirmed.

Auckland Emergency Management issued an emergency mobile alert to mobile phones in Muriwai at 1.30am asking people in Motutara Road and Domain Crescent to evacuate due to increased risk of landslides.

Around 200 residents took shelter at the Muriwai Surf Club overnight, and NZDF is now working to support voluntary evacuations to the Waimauku War Memorial Hall Civil Defence Centre, where health professionals and St Johns staff are on site. They will then be invited to move to the larger Trusts Arena.

Building assessors are assembling at Muriwai to begin visiting affected homes to assess for damage and, where needed, issue placards. These assessments will be conducted over the course of the morning.

Auckland Emergency Management is also responding to reports of trees down and collapsed or damaged houses in Piha, Karekare, Leigh and Wellsford. Communities have also been isolated in Piha and Karekare due to landslips, and Bethells Beach due to flooding.

Much of the region saw significant rain and wind over night that caused widespread power outages, surface flooding, slips and damage to property.  

About 50 people from 33 households remain evacuated from their homes in an apartment building in Mt Eden, due to danger posed by a nearby unstable structure. Families were encouraged to stay with friends or family and a small number who required shelter were taken to Trusts Arena in Henderson.  

“This has been and continues to be a serious and significant event for our region, and we ask that you continue to follow Auckland emergency management advice on our website and social media channels,” says Ms Kelleher.

“Keep up to date and look after one another.”

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