Weather: Aucklanders react to emergency alert for potential 'extremely heavy rain'

  • 29/01/2023

Aucklanders are reacting after receiving an emergency alert for potentially "extremely heavy rain" to strike the city.

The alert was issued by Auckland Emergency Management after MetService put out an orange heavy rain warning due to an active line of thunderstorms currently sitting over the Hauraki Gulf.

Between now and 7am on Monday, these thunderstorms could cause localised downpours of 50-90mm of rainfall - and localised extreme downpours up to 150mm "can't be ruled out".

The alerts are sent to phones within the reach of selected cell tower locations, which means most of the population of Auckland will have received it, along with some people outside the warning area.

And already, the public has flooded social media with their reactions to the abrupt alert tone.

Multiple people criticised the failure to send an emergency alert on Friday while heavy rain and flooding were devastating the city.

"Just received an Emergency Alert, after two days later Auckland was flooded badly, amazing!" one person tweeted.

"Sunday, 7.47pm: first emergency alert received about Auckland flooding. About 2 days and 3 hours too late," another said.

"Aucklanders all getting emergency alerts for heavy rain coming. At least that stable door is bolted. Not sure where the horse is," a third added.

"Got an Emergency Alert from Auckland Council re the overnight thunderstorms. They don't need to be told twice," added Newsroom co-editor Tim Murphy.

Others had problems with not receiving the message - or the way it was displayed.

"More inept comms from AEM. Apparently the Warkworth area is no longer part of Auckland Council and no one from this area travels to Orewa overnight, since we didn't get the alert. The bumbling ineptitude continues!" one person tweeted.

"So just got an orange alert to my phone and to make it stop it I clicked 'OK' only for the alert to disappear so I don't know what it said," another said.

"Did anyone else get it and manage to get a screenshot? Also this feels like a pretty big flaw."

To others, the sudden notification came as a shock.

"I almost jumped out my skin! We just had another alert," one person tweeted.

"Emergency Alert in Auckland, scared the poo out of me. The sound is just so annoying and freaky," was another response.

Others hoped there wouldn't be a repeat of the damage and deaths caused by the earlier weather event.

"I hope everyone can stay home, stay safe and please avoid any unnecessary travel around the city," one Kiwi tweeted.

"Received an emergency alert for still bad weather. Take care Auckland, stay safe and dry," another added.

Auckland Emergency Management's advice

Auckland Emergency Management controller Mace Ward said that given the recent rainfall, the ground is extremely saturated - which changes the impact of any further rainfall.

"The decision to issue this alert was made so people in the region can make the best decisions of how to remain safe, should this heavy rain eventuate."

People in the area between Ōrewa/Waiwera and down to Papakura/Drury, from coast to coast including Aotea Great Barrier Island are advised to:

  • Make sure you stay informed. Watch the forecast at
  • Avoid unnecessary travel. Check road conditions if you do have to travel
  • Floods and flash floods can happen quickly. Act immediately if you see rising water - do not wait for official warnings. Head for higher ground and stay away from floodwater
  • Check for updates and information. Listen to emergency services and self-evacuate if you feel unsafe
  • If life is in danger, call 111 immediately

Any further updates will be posted to the Auckland Emergency Management social media channels.