Cyclone Gabrielle continues to ravage New Zealand



Trees came down. (Photo: Top Energy NZ)

Dr Malini Yugendran

13 February 2023

Cyclone Gabrielle is causing severe damage in New Zealand, with high winds and heavy rain causing road damage, power outages, and fallen trees. A state of emergency has been declared in several regions, including Northland, Auckland, Thames-Coromandel, Ōpōtiki, and Tairāwhiti. The possibility of declaring a national state of emergency is being closely monitored, but as of now, the situation has not escalated to that point.

The National Emergency Management Agency’s (NEMA) acting director of civil defence, Roger Ball, warns that this is an “unprecedented and dangerous weather event.” People are advised to stay safe and protect themselves and their families.

Mr Ball reports that there are road closures and people should drive cautiously, watching for debris and flooding.

In response to the situation, 26 civil defence centers and shelters have been opened, including three mass evacuation centers. People are advised to check with local civil defence for more information.

Wind Speed

The impacts of the cyclone are being felt across the upper North Island, with wind speeds reaching up to 130 km/h in Northland, 135 km/h in Hauraki Gulf, and 110 km/h at the Harbour Bridge. Whangārei and Kaikohe have received 70 mm of rain over 12 hours, and winds have reached up to 160 km/h in the western Coromandel peninsula.

More Trees fallen (Photo: RNZ)

Power failure

Currently, around 58,000 people on the top of the North Island are without power, and it could take several days to restore it.

Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty advises farmers to make tough decisions regarding essential items, such as milk.

Check Waka Kotahi for road closures: Road Closed: SH 16 Full Closure Great North Road to Patiki Road, Northbound.

Information about preparing for storms can be found at getready.govt.nz.

Call 111 if in any danger.

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

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