Cyclone Gabrielle has knocked out power to 46,000 homes in New Zealand’s north.

Authorities have issued severe weather warnings, and hundreds of flights have been canceled.

As Gabrielle approaches the North Island, some areas have declared a state of emergency.

It comes just weeks after record rainfall in Auckland and surrounding areas caused floods and killed four people.

“Extreme weather event has followed extreme weather event,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, who announced a NZ$11.5 million (£6 million; US$7.3 million) aid package.

“Things are likely to worsen before they improve.”

Kieran McAnulty, minister of emergency management, said at a press conference on Monday that the government is considering declaring a national state of emergency for the third time in the country’s history.

Five northern regions, including Auckland, have already declared a state of emergency. The declaration empowers local governments to respond to dangerous situations by restricting travel and providing aid.

Metservice in New Zealand reported that Whangarei, a city north of Auckland, had received 100.5mm (4 inches) of rain in the previous 12 hours.

Mr. McAnulty went on to say that Monday would be a “critical day” because of the “highly dangerous” combination of high winds and heavy rain. Northland was battered by winds of up to 140km/h (87mph), while Auckland Harbour Bridge was rocked by gusts of 110km/h.

He warned that restoring the power grid could take days because the bad weather made it “unsafe” to work on the network.

In Auckland, New Zealand, a man stacks sandbags to protect a warehouse from Cyclone Gabrielle.
Caption for an image,
In Auckland, New Zealand, a man stacks sandbags to protect a warehouse from Cyclone Gabrielle.
Weather officials had earlier downgraded Gabrielle’s intensity, but Metservice in its latest update on Monday said it will still bring “significant heavy rain and potentially damaging winds”.

Despite the fact that the cyclone has yet to make landfall, it has already uprooted trees, damaged roads, and brought down power lines.

Many schools and local government facilities have closed across Auckland and the North Island, and people are being advised not to travel if at all possible.

Meanwhile, 509 flights were canceled, affecting approximately 10,000 international Air New Zealand customers.

Normal service is expected to resume on Tuesday, with the national carrier adding 11 additional domestic flights to its schedule to aid in recovery efforts.

The cyclone is the second major weather event to strike Auckland and the North Island in as many weeks.

According to authorities, the two large events have strained the emergency and recovery response system.

By dhandi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *