New Zealand’s Cyclone Gabrielle brings strong winds and rain

New Zealand | Monday | February 13, 2023

Around 58,000 homes are without power in New Zealand’s upper North Island on Monday as the approach of Cyclone Gabrielle brings strong winds, heavy rain and huge swells to Auckland and nearby regions.

Although her most devastating gusts bypassed Norfolk Island, Gabrielle passed over the Australian territory in the Tasman Sea on Saturday night.

As it approaches land on Monday and Tuesday, rain and winds are expected to pick up intensity. It is currently sitting just north of New Zealand.

According to Rachel Kelleher, Deputy Controller of Auckland Emergency Management, “The impact of Gabrielle is still in its early stages and more significant and severe weather is still forecast for Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland), later today into Tuesday morning.”

She continued, “This is not the time for complacency.”

People are being urged not to travel if at all possible as a result of the closure of numerous schools and local government offices in Auckland and the upper North Island. At least four additional regions, including Auckland, have declared states of emergency.

In the past 12 hours, Whangarei, a city north of Auckland, received 100.5 mm of rain (4 inches), according to the meteorological agency Metservice, while winds of 159 km/h (100 mph) were reported off the coast of Auckland.

Around 58,000 houses were without electricity, according to Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty, and it could take some time for power to be restored.

Aircraft, ferries, buses, and trains have either been suspended from service or are operating on a modified schedule, according to McAnulty.

Air New Zealand announced in a statement that after canceling 509 flights due to the cyclone, it will start flying again on Tuesday. To aid in the recovery operations, it is adding 11 extra domestic flights to its timetable.

It hasn’t happened at this level since a cyclone in 1988, according to Northpower, which is in charge of the network in the most remote areas.

150 personnel have been located by the New Zealand Defense Force in Auckland and the surrounding areas, and they are delivering humanitarian aid to shelters and centers for civil defense.

This cyclone is the second significant weather event to recently affect Auckland and the upper North Island. Four people were killed by floods and unprecedented rainfall that pounded Auckland and the neighboring areas last month.

According to McAnulty, the emergency and recovery response system is being taxed by the two significant occurrences.

He claimed that “a lot of folks are feeling exhausted and anxious about what’s happening.”

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