Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Cyclone Gabrielle makes landfall

Auckland Emergency Management is urging residents to prepare for serious and severe weather across Auckland in the coming days as Cyclone Gabrielle makes landfall in Aotearoa.

“The impact of Gabrielle is still in its early stages,” says Auckland Emergency Management Deputy Controller Rachel Kelleher.

“Now is not a time for complacency. Things will get worse before they get better. Please follow the advice from official channels, keep informed of updates, be prepared to leave if you need to and look out for one another.”

Twenty-seven Civil Defence Centres and Shelter sites opened on Sunday evening, with eight sites housing people overnight. The sites were opened across Tamaki Makaurau for individuals and families who need to leave their homes and are not able to stay with friends or family, Ms Kelleher said. A further 12 community-led centres are being run by community groups at local marae and churches.

“The lines companies have reported that thousands of homes are without power across the upper North Island, including in north Auckland. They are working quickly to restore power where they can, however further power outages can be expected.”

Auckland Transport (AT) is urging people to avoid all non-urgent travel today and tomorrow. The Auckland Harbour Bridge has been reopened this morning, however AT is advising that it could close again at any time if the wind rises.

“We need to expect other road closures,” said Ms Kelleher.

With a high risk of coastal inundation and storm surge on the high tide overnight Monday and into the early hours of Tuesday morning, people are being asked to stay away from the coast.

“We would remind everyone that this bad weather is likely to worsen already-saturated ground conditions and further instability. Please keep an eye out for landslips, take extra precautions, and if you have any safety concerns at all, please consider finding alternate accommodation.”

“We are working very closely with the NZ Defence Force, which has brought in personnel that are stationed across Northland, Auckland, Coromandel and other regions at risk. They have been working hard to deliver welfare stores to civil defence centres and shelters, and they’ll be available to help with evacuations over the coming days if required,” she said.

Check the Auckland Emergency Management website www.aem.org.nz for updates.

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