Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Northland state of emergency declared

A precautionary state of emergency was yesterday declared for Northland for an initial period of seven days, as part of the regional response to Cyclone Gabrielle.

The emergency declaration was requested by Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group Controller, Graeme MacDonald and signed by CDEM Group chair, Kelly Stratford.

An Emergency Mobile Alert advising of the declaration has been sent to phones in Northland which are capable of receiving the alerts.

Mr MacDonald says emergency declarations are relatively rare in Northland, with only six emergency declarations in the past 50 years, some of which affected only parts of the region.

“Declaring an emergency is a step under our legislation which allows the Civil Defence Controller and/or those to whom they delegate authority, access to emergency powers, granting authority to protect life and property in extraordinary emergency events under the Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Act 2002,” he said.

On Sunday, the MetService issued red warnings, used for the most severe events, forecasting both severe winds and rain in the coming days.

Its red rain warning covers the period from 10am yesterday until 12am Tuesday 14 February and predicts 200-300mm of rain south of Kaeo and 100-180mm north of Kaeo over this time.

The red wind warning is valid until 9pm Tuesday. The MetService is forecasting severe gales, with gusts reaching 120 to 130 kmh (or possibly higher) from Monday depending on Cyclone Gabrielle’s track.

“Winds should initially be east to southeast, then are expected to turn south to southwest later on Monday and into Tuesday,” said Mr MacDonald.

Mr MacDonald asked Northlanders to continue to stay up-to-date with weather forecasts and official information, have a plan in case they need to evacuate, check on neighbours, avoid non-essential travel and take extreme care if it was necessary to be on the roads.

Civil Defence will be keeping a close eye on the weather as it develops and will post any key updates on its Facebook pageĀ https://www.facebook.com/civildefencenorthland.

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