Auckland braces for the worst as Cyclone Gabrielle hits Northland

Streets are empty at West Auckland (Photo: Supplied)

Dr Malini Yugendran

Auckland, February 13, 2023

Cyclone Gabrielle is crossing the North Island, causing widespread power outages, cancelled commuter trains, restricted harbour bridge, closed schools and cancelled domestic flights. Non-essential services are also shut down in Auckland.

Severe Weather

MetService and Niwa have warned that the cyclone is expected to bring strong wind and rain to Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, the East Coast, and Hawke’s Bay.

The storm has been downgraded to a sub-tropical low-pressure system, but its impacts are still expected to reach northern parts of the South Island in the coming days.

The Chatham Islands are also forecasted to experience severe gales and heavy swell.

Just over 226.6mm of rain is expected to fall today in Whitianga alone.

Tree fall damage. (Photo: North Power/ Facebook)

Civil Defence Centers

Civil Defence Centers have opened 26 emergency shelters in Auckland, as heavy rain and strong winds are expected to spread southwards.

Cyclone Gabrielle Brings Widespread Flooding, Power Outages

Over 17,000 homes in Northland are without power, with more outages expected, and some connections taking several days to restore.

Coastal areas have experienced flooding, and boats have been blown ashore.

Storm surges are slamming coastal parts of Northland, causing flooding on several roads.

Aotea Great Barrier Island residents have already sought cover as the storm is expected to pass very near to the island early on Tuesday morning.

Whitianga alone is expected to receive about 226.6mm of rain, and there has already been intense wind and rain.

Travel Information

The majority of Auckland residents are staying indoors to prepare for the storm and are following the instructions to remain off the roads.

The harbour bridge has reopened with lane and speed limits, but commuter trains in the city will not run until at least 3 pm.

Bus services have been delayed due to the cyclone, and ferry services will likely be cancelled as the situation worsens.

All domestic flights into, out of, or via Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, and Taupo have been cancelled as of Tuesday noon.

Satellite view of Cyclone Gabrielle (Photo: NIWA)

Schools close

The Ministry of Education recommended that schools shut down, and many in the north have followed this advice.

The Auckland University of Technology sent out a memo advising all staff to work from home.

Non-essential services, including libraries and community centers, are also shut in Auckland.

Stay Safe, Stay Prepared

Civil Defence and Emergency Management in New Zealand are advising residents to maintain their safety, be ready, and pay heed to the most recent updates and cautions. Be sure to take the essential safety steps to safeguard you and your family during this extreme weather event. Pay attention to and follow the advice of the local authorities.

Follow Auckland Emergency Management on Facebook for regular updates: or visit their website: Auckland Emergency Management

Follow Civil Defence Northland’s Facebook page for updates about the Northland region

Follow Ministry for Ethnic Communities Facebook page for regular updates.

For travel advice visit the Waka Kotahi website.

For weather updates, visit the MetService website

Dr Malini Yugendran is an Indian Newslink Reporter based in Auckland.

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