Thursday, July 18, 2024

Region shifts to recovery mode

As the region shifts its focus to recovery, Auckland Emergency Management says it is working hard to support communities impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

“Safety remains a key concern, both from the risk of further land slips and also for anyone cleaning up any flood damage. Please follow advice and make sure your safety is a priority,” says Deputy Controller, Rachel Kelleher.  

Ms Kelleher said access to parts of the West Coast including Muriwai, Piha, and Karekare remains restricted due to landslips.

About 20 homes were last night evacuated in Piha due to land instability, and an exclusion zone is in place in a large part of Muriwai.

“If you have been evacuated, please do not go back to your property until you are advised it is safe to do so. Please remember that the ground is saturated and there is a very real risk of further slips,” she said.

“Anyone who lives in an area that is prone to slips, or who feels unsafe, please don’t wait for direction. Please self-evacuate to friends or family, or to a nearby Civil Defence Centre.”

Auckland Council building assessment teams are out across the region today conducting rapid impact assessments on the safety of properties. 120 teams of assessors along with 20 members of the welfare team have been working in the region this morning, conducting rapid building and welfare assessments.

Warkworth’s Mahurangi River yesterday.

“We know that people are anxious to get back in their homes but we ask that they do not return until they have been told it is safe to do so.”

“Rapid Building Assessments are in full swing today where it is safe for us to do them, so we can get people answers about the safety of their homes and properties as soon as we can,” Ms Kelleher said.

Auckland Transport has reported “unprecedented” damage to local roads, with 75 roads full closed and 60 roads partially closed.

It’s main focus in the coming days is to restore road access for those Auckland communities which are currently cut off, such as Piha, Muriwai and Karekare.

Around 200 people made use of Civil Defence Centres and Shelters overnight, including 50 domestic and international travellers at The Trusts Arena after flights out of Auckland Airport were cancelled late yesterday due to high winds.

“We are continuing to review the community requirements for each of our Civil Defence Centres and Shelters so we can divert resources to where they’re most needed,” said Ms Kelleher.

Despite the widespread damage to infrastructure, Auckland’s tap water remains safe to drink.

Three small water treatment plants are offline in Helensville, Muriwai and Wellsford, with residents and businesses in these areas being encouraged to use water wisely today.

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