After heavy rains, Auckland, New Zealand, declares an emergency

screenshot taken from a video of flooding

The biggest city in New Zealand has declared an emergency after heavy rains caused widespread flooding and evacuations.

The Friday rainstorm in Auckland caused homes and businesses to move, slowed down traffic, and outages.

A body had been discovered in Wairau Valley on Auckland's north shore, according to The New Zealand Herald.

A 40,000-person Elton John concert was postponed just minutes before it was scheduled to begin.

Online video showed rescuers using kayaks to carry out evacuations while rescuing victims who were submerged to their waists in floodwater.

In other images, food items could be seen floating down the aisles of a number of flooded supermarkets.

The effects of the storm have "overwhelmed" both emergency services and infrastructure, according to Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown.

More than 1,000 calls for help were handled by fire crews, according to local media. Evacuations are also assisted by the New Zealand Defense Force.

The weather has caused delays or cancellations for flights into Auckland as well as for rail and ferry services within the city.

In addition to blocking major roads, the floods also resulted in lengthy traffic jams on highways and a number of reported traffic accidents.

At 18:00 local time (06:00 GMT), Auckland Emergency Management tweeted that the area was experiencing "severe weather," with several areas experiencing significant flooding.

The national weather service estimated that 15 cm of rain had fallen in the previous 11 hours after two hours. It currently stands at 16.2cm for a 24-hour period.

For at least the next five days, the authority has predicted that heavy rain will fall in various parts of Auckland.

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