Spectators Laugh at Surfers in Dangerous Conditions Amid Cyclone Gabrielle


Cyclone-hit New Zealand declares a national emergency

New Zealand declared a national state of emergency on Tuesday after Cyclone Gabrielle swept away roads, swamped homes and left more than 100,000 people without power. High winds and heavy rain lashed the North Island population of the country, what officials called “unprecedented weather event”. “It’s been a big night for New Zealanders. Many families are displaced, many homes are without power,” Prime Minister Chris Hipkins told reporters in Auckland. “There’s been a lot of damage across the country.” New Zealand declared a state of emergency for the third time — after the 2019 Christchurch attacks and the Covid-19 Pandemic. Daylight showed the severity of the disaster: roads eaten by landslides and collapsed houses buried in mud, silt and storm. detritus. Falling trees broke power lines and flood waters blocked several roads, leaving communities across the north of the country stranded. Others waded through storm waters on foot.” At about midnight we got the emergency text saying ‘evacuate’,” recalled Jane Scott, a resident of the coastal community of Muriwai, who gathered a torch and some basic necessities before seeking refuge in another. local community center.”It was pitch black and pouring rain,” she told TVNZ local channel. “It was very scary.” – ‘Too early to tell’ – Cyclone Gabrielle formed off the north-east coast of Australia in the Coral Sea on February 8, before moving across the South Pacific. It made landfall on the northern coast of New Zealand on Sunday, bringing gusts of 140 kilometers (87 miles) an hour, spraying coastal communities with 20 centimeters (almost eight inches) of rain in 24 hours and 11-meter (36-foot) high waves. More than three quarters of New Zealand’s five million residents live on the North Island, where the brunt of the storm is being felt. Hipkins said it was “too early to tell” how many people were evacuated from their homes and did not have power or cell phone coverage. Electricity providers estimated that more than 100,000 people are without power. International and domestic flights have been grounded, with Air New Zealand alone reporting 592 flights canceled and 35,000 customers affected. EurLex-2 en Cyclone Gabrielle hit, after being hit by the heaviest rainfall two weeks ago. Professor Christine Kenney of the University of Massachusetts has warned that New Zealand is living in an age of “cascading” natural disasters — where the impacts of severe weather events multiply over time. “Cascading natural hazard events due to climate change are the new norm for Auckland,” she said ahead of Tuesday’s emergency. and La Nina weather patterns. ;”It is also part of the global story of tropical cyclones becoming more intense under man-made climate change. y are working day and night, but the unstable ground, flood waters and closed roads are making things difficult, ” said Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty. New Zealand’s Fire and Emergency services said a firefighter is missing and another is in critical condition after collapsing at a house in West Auckland. “It was a tough night for the North Island as a whole, but it was very tough from a fire and emergency perspective,” said Kerry Gregory, chief executive of the fire service. with the two firefighters involved and urged New Zealand to “put safety first”. Hipkins pledged an aid package of 11.5 million New Zealand dollars ($7.25 million) to help with recovery efforts, but McAnulty acknowledged the cost of the clean-up. “The honest answer is that it won’t be free, but that’s not what we’re worried about right now,” he said.ryj-arb/dhc

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