New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel have been working alongside North Island regional emergency management agencies, as part of Operation Awhina, to respond to Cyclone Gabrielle which is currently affecting the North Island.
At least 200 NZDF personnel from across the Royal New Zealand Navy, NZ Army, and Royal New Zealand Air Force are involved in the response to the extreme weather event.
“We are working hard alongside our partner agencies, and civil defence and emergency authorities, to respond to community needs including evacuations and requests for help,” NZDF said in a statement.
“With the national state of emergency, we are placing personnel in units across the Services on shortened notices to move and will assist civil authorities with responses in different regions, with personnel being sent to where we’re needed most.”
An NH90 helicopter departed Whenuapai Air Base this afternoon in Auckland to take medical supplies to Whangarei Hospital, before conducting a reconnaissance flight over Dargaville to survey damage and transport of personnel and cargo.
NZ Army regular and reserve forces have also been involved in rescues and response in Esk Valley, Napier and wider Hawke’s Bay, while Reserve Force personnel from 3/6 Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment have been clearing fallen trees in Coromandel to provide water to residents in Matarangi.