March 12, 2017 / 6:12 AM / 3 years ago

Storm causes floods, blackouts in New Zealand's biggest city

Rescue workers assist stranded people from floodwaters in the Auckland suburb of New Lynn in New Zealand, March 12, 2017. SNPA/Hayden Woodward/via REUTERS

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A powerful storm caused flooding, landslides and blackouts in New Zealand on Sunday, leaving thousands of homes without power, emergency services officials said.

Winds of more than 100 km (62 miles) per hour toppled trees and power lines and heavy rain caused flash floods which closed roads and inundated homes in Auckland, the country’s largest city, officials said. There were no reports of injury.

Nearly 3,000 homes were without power on Sunday evening, according to New Zealand electricity grid operator Vector.

“We are working as quickly as we can to respond to people’s needs and make sure areas are safe,” John Dragicevich, Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management Director, said in a statement.

Ten people were rescued from rising floodwaters in Auckland and 321 properties were flooded, the New Zealand Fire Service said.

Storms have hit large parts of the upper North Island for the past five days.

Reporting by Harry Pearl; Editing by Stephen Coates

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