This is a representational image. Photos by R A Kearton/Gettyimages

A body has been discovered in the New Zealand caves where a teenager disappeared on Tuesday while on a school excursion.

Even though there was severe flooding in the Auckland region, he was one of 17 people that traveled to the Abbey Caves.

Although 14 kids and two teachers were initially confined, they were able to escape without incident. The boy, who was between the ages of 15 and 16, was missing.

The body was found late on Tuesday local time, according to New Zealand police, but it has not yet been formally recognized.

The largest city in New Zealand, Auckland, has declared a state of emergency after torrential rains left cars stuck, uprooted trees, and affected public transportation.

However, on Wednesday, the majority of the previously closed roads were restored, and public transportation was running.

On the top of North Island, there are three underground caverns called The Abbey Caves that have limestone outcrops and sinkholes. Flash flooding is common throughout the cave system.

On Wednesday, there was still a police barricade around the caves despite the flowers that well-wishers had deposited there.

It is "every parent's worst possible nightmare" to have their child not come home from school, according to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, who spoke to the New Zealand Herald.

Tony Hill, the police superintendent, also admitted that the public would like explanations for the "very distressing" incident.

The incident has raised many questions about why the school trip went ahead even after weather forecasts warned of heavy rains.

The group is from Whangārei Boys' High School. In a post on the school's Facebook page on Wednesday, principal Karen Gilbert-Smith wrote: "It is really important for me to let you know how devastated we are that one of our whānau [family] have lost a much loved, and treasured, son and brother."

"The impact of this tragedy is being felt widely amongst our school staff, students and community."

This year has already seen a number of extreme weather events that have affected the Auckland region in New Zealand, BBC reported.

It got 90% of its annual average rainfall from January to April, with some sections receiving up to 35mm (1.3in) of rain in a single hour.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson compared the destruction caused by Cyclone Gabrielle, which devastated New Zealand in February and left 11 people dead, to that caused by the Christchurch earthquake 12 years prior.

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