Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Mt Eden residents evacuated

Auckland Emergency Management has tonight established a temporary exclusion zone around the Colonial Ammunition Company Shot Tower in Mt Eden, prompting the evacuation, or partial evacuation, of a number of residential and commercial buildings.

Controller, Mace Ward said the forecast high winds and weather conditions associated with Cyclone Gabrielle could cause the 109-year-old and approximately 30 metre tower to collapse, damaging the surrounding buildings.

“I have directed the evacuation of buildings surrounding the historic Colonial Ammunition Company Shot Tower based on engineering advice from Tonkin & Taylor, and MetService, earlier this evening,” said Mr Ward.

“Our building assessment team, alongside welfare officers and the Police have been on site alerting residents of around 50 apartments that they need to urgently leave their homes.

“This is an understandably upsetting situation for these people, however the risk of injury as a result of the tower collapsing, is unacceptable,” he said.

At the request of Auckland Council, Tonkin & Taylor today undertook a structural inspection of the shot tower, confirming a risk to life and property existed.

“Due to the increased risk, Tonkin & Taylor advised that that all buildings within 35 metres of the shot tower are evacuated before the arrival of Cyclone Gabrielle,” Auckland Council said in a statement.

Following the passing of Cyclone Gabrielle, Tonkin & Taylor has advised that the shot tower’s condition is immediately reassessed to confirm that it has not been further damaged by the storm, and that the surrounding buildings are safe to reoccupy.

Residents in the exclusion zone have been encouraged to seek alternative accommodation with friends and whānau. However, if this isn’t possible, emergency accommodation is available at one of the Civil Defence Centres (CDCs) set up across Auckland.

Once it is deemed safe to do so, Auckland Council says it will reassess the Colonial Ammunition Company Shot Tower to determine whether it is safe to reoccupy the neighbouring buildings.

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