New Zealand's east coast hit by floods, some residents evacuated

By Lucy Craymer

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Heavy rains and big seas on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island have caused homes to be evacuated as rivers flood and waves cause coastal inundation.

Local government authorities in the Hawke's Bay and Tairawhiti regions have stood up emergency centres and overnight flood warnings and evacuation notices were issued.

Tairawhiti Civil Defence said in a Facebook post that while the high intensity rainfall had eased it had not stopped and was forecast to continue until Friday night.

"Crews are out around the region assessing damage to roads, checking river levels and bridges so please be patient while this is done," the post said.

Hawke's Bay and Tairawhiti were both severely impacted by flooding in early 2023 after being hit by Cyclone Gabrielle.

(Reporting by Lucy Craymer; Editing by Daniel Wallis)