17 Jun 2013

Woman dies after house demolished in landslide

6:14 am on 17 June 2013

A 63-year-old woman died when her house was demolished in a large landslide near Kaiteriteri in the Tasman district on Sunday.

Emergency services were alerted at 1.15pm and on arrival, found the badly damaged property on the Kaiteriteri-Sandy Bay Road.

One wall and the roof were all that remained of the house and neighbours were attempting to find the woman, who was the sole occupant of the property.

Her body was found partially submerged in the mud - police say the force of the landslide caused her to be ejected from her house.

Senior Sergeant Stu Koefoed says the house was levelled after a 200 metre slip came through the back of it.

"It was a slope and it's come straight through the house, so there's quite a bit of mass involved in the material that's come through the house - taken out most of the walls, the roof was left standing and she was found nearby."

Police have evacuated two neighbouring properties as a precaution and civil defence is managing road closures and monitoring river levels.

St John Tasman District operations manager James McMeekin says residents and emergency crews tried to help and although there was flooding it didn't stop emergency services from getting to the scene.

Several residents in the Tasman District have left their homes in case of flooding from the Riwaka River, although the levels in most of the area's other rivers are beginning to drop.

Ten millimetres of rain an hour is expected to fall on the district until at least midnight on Sunday.

Heavy rain, landslips, and flooding have closed a number of roads in the Tasman and Waitaki areas.

Drivers in the Tasman area can now use the Takaka Hill and can get to Marahau, although there are closures of minor roads, and the Tasman District Council says even roads which are open may be affected by land slips and debris.

Flooding in Canterbury and North Otago

The regional council in Canterbury says staff will be on duty there all night.

Its duty flood controller Tony Henderson says rain started on Saturday night in South Canterbury and North Otago, and is expected to cause problems on Sunday night.

He says streams and creeks are likely to overflow onto neighbouring roads, so residents should check for closures and warnings before setting out for work on Monday morning.

The council says the Western-Ngpara Road to the north-west of Oamaru is closed, which is expected to interrupt school bus services on Monday.

The regional council says there are no road closures in the North Otago area at 10pm on Sunday, although if a steady drizzle continues there, some surface flooding can be expected.

There are also 14 minor roads closed in South Canterbury.

MetService says the rain will ease in South Canterbury and North Otago by 6pm on Monday.

Landslide partly demolishes West Auckland house

Heavy rain has also affected Auckland with the fire service attending over 50 weather-related call outs.

Some people had to be evacuated from a house on Titirangi Beach Road in West Auckland, after it was partly demolished by a landslide but no one was injured.

Lines company Vector says about 650 households north of Auckland are still without power at 10pm on Sunday due to heavy rain and strong winds.

A Vector spokesperson says power has been restored to most houses that experienced outages earlier in the evening.

She says there are about 300 houses in Warkworth, another 300 in Waiwera, and about 50 in Long Bay that still have no power.

But she says lines staff are still hoping to restore power to those houses later on Sunday night.