Body found in New Zealand caves where teen is missing

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand police said on Wednesday they had found a body in the caves where a high school student went missing on a school trip a day earlier, with local media reporting a flash flood had washed through and swept away the teenager.

One student went missing at the Abbey Caves near Whangarei on the upper North Island after a group of 15 high school students and two adults got into difficulty amid a heavy rain storm. The remaining 16 are accounted for.

Police said in a statement that searchers had located and recovered a body late on Tuesday evening, but formal identification has yet to take place.

"We acknowledge this event has been very distressing for the school and wider community, and that there are a number of questions the public will have," police said.

The accident happened as heavy rain swept across the upper North Island causing flooding and closing schools and roads.

Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, remains under a state of emergency but at an Auckland Emergency Management briefing Wednesday Rachel Kelleher said most roads were now open and public transport was operating.

Council teams will be out assessing damage to building Wednesday, she added.

(Reporting by Lucy Craymer; Editing by Jamie Freed)