Catastrophic weather has continued to wreak havoc across New Zealand as locals tell their harrowing stories of survival amid devastating storms, floods and landslides.
Teressa Hodgson, her partner Luke Hanan and their five kids were inside their Tauranga home, southeast of Auckland, on Saturday night when they heard a huge boom and everything started to shake.
The family had only just finished renovating their dream home but the record-breaking rain in Auckland and across the rest of New Zealand’s North Island had made the ground beneath the house loose.
‘The house was shaking with such force we thought it was an earthquake. I’d been in the Edgecumbe earthquake, but this felt 30 times stronger. I yelled to Teresa, let’s get the kids and get out,’ Mr Hanan told Stuff.
The house was crushed and pushed into the middle of the road
Luke Hanan and Teressa Hodgson pushed through the mud looking for their kids
The force of the landslide was so strong it shoved the house down the cliff and onto the middle of the street, displacing each room in the home and leaving the parents struggling to find their kids.
Daylight revealed the extent of the damage to the family home.
Bailee’s room, the youngest child in the family, had completely vanished.
‘[Bailee’s] whole bedroom had disappeared, it just wasn’t there at all. It was only then I lost it and started screaming. I thought the bedroom must have been crushed to the ground with Bailee under it,’ Ms Hodgson said.
‘We were crawling through mud and glass shouting the kids’ names. It was pitch back. The house was still moving. We thought they were buried under the mud, dead.’
At least three people have died and one is missing after record rainfall battered Auckland on Friday and over the weekend
The parents eventually made it out of the house, realising their neighbours had safely pulled all the kids from the home.
‘Our neighbours ran up to us and said – it’s okay, we have got them. I didn’t believe it until I saw them. When I saw Bailee I collapsed and cried and hugged her,’ she said.
Relatives have since started a fundraising page for the family after they lost their entire home, both cars and all possessions in the landslide.
The landslide comes as authorities confirm at least four people have died in the devastating storms after record rainfall battered Auckland on Friday and Saturday, turning roads into gushing rivers and destroying properties.
Friday was the wettest day in the the city’s history with the amount of rain typically falling over the entire summer striking in just one day.
A state of emergency remains in place in Auckland and Waitomo, about 190km south of the capital.
The north and west parts of the city have been hit the hardest with a number of harrowing stories emerging from the suburbs including a Good Samaritan who was trying to help his neighbours dying moments after posting on social media about the dire situation.
According to New Zealand’s weather service, a record 249mm of rain fell on Auckland Airport in two hours from Friday morning local time.
The figure smashed a February 1985 record of 161.8mm.
One of the flood victims – who was found dead in a culvert in Wairau Valley – shared videos of himself wading through floodwaters offering assistance to affected residents, according to NZ media.
In a video posted to Facebook on Friday, the man could be heard saying ‘this is all bad … it’s all bad’.
‘Something’s telling me to go up and check on the people in this house, so I’m going to,’ he said.
The man could be seen walking through floodwater talking to people outside their property.
Shortly afterward – in another clip which would be his last – he appeared to drop his phone in the water.
On Saturday, shocking vision also emerged of the aftermath of a $5million home being destroyed in a landslide.
The partially collapsed mansion could be seen perched on the edge of a cliff which had been eroded by pounding rain.
Footage captured a partially collapsed multi-million dollar mansion perched on the edge of a cliff eroded by pounding rain
A man who filmed the footage from his boat described the scene as ‘unbelievable’.
‘Look at this absolute chaos,’ he said.
‘That house is right on the edge there. I mean, there’s nothing there. It’s almost gone.’
The landslides are just one of the many impacts from the New Zealand storms.
On Saturday afternoon, the InterIslander ferry, a service that travels between the north and south islands, completely lost power in the middle of the Cook Strait.
Passengers travelling from Picton in the south island to Wellington in the north sent out a mayday after losing power in 100km/h winds in the Cook Strait.
A passenger captured footage of the inside of the stranded Interislander ferry travelling from Picton in the South Island to Wellington on Saturday
The 800 passengers on board the ferry were sent to emergency stations and issued life jackets as the boat drifted out at sea with its anchors down.
The vessel temporarily lost propulsion power near the end of its journey.
It eventually regained some power but had to be escorted by tug boats to safety in Wellington.
The 800 passengers on board the Kaitaki ferry were sent to emergency stations and issued life jackets as the ferry drifted out at sea with its anchors down
One passenger captured footage of the inside of the stranded ferry.
In a video uploaded to social media on Saturday, the young woman films herself in an orange life jacket from inside the vessel.
She then moves the camera around the inside of the boat, showing dozens of passengers hurriedly securing life jackets to themselves and their children.
‘Crusing on the InterIslander but not sailing to the other side,’ the video caption read.
On Friday, about 2,000 people became stuck when flood waters engulfed Auckland Airport.
Photographs uploaded to social media showed the international terminal submerged in floodwaters with levels reaching to the knees of passengers.
The Friday night Elton John show was called off 30 minutes before the start time leaving concert goers having to catch public transport home
Emergency services were able to send passengers home as floodwaters subsided overnight with domestic and international flights cancelled.
The domestic airport re-opened for travel on Saturday and international passenger departures resumed early on Sunday morning.
Footage has also emerged of shoppers on Saturday wading through flooded supermarkets and riding on inundated buses in Auckland.
The Friday night Elton John show was called off 30 minutes before the start time leaving concert goers fuming and having to catch public transport home.