Monday, April 22, 2024

Valentine’s Day 2023 disaster never to be forgotten

Valentine’s Day 2023 is a day people on the East Coast of the North Island will never forget.

On that day last year, Cyclone Gabrielle ripped through Eastern District. Of the 11 people who died nationally in the cyclone, eight died in Eastern, with one still missing.

The storm caused swollen rivers to burst their banks and destroyed homes and bridges. Thousands of people were evacuated and hundreds had to be rescued from rooftops and trees. A national state of emergency was declared.

To mark the first anniversary, Hawke’s Bay Police staff share some of their experiences in the video above.

While Hawke’s Bay was the worst hit, Police staff across the North Island were in the thick of days of chaos and destruction. From the west coast to the east, and from Northland to Manawatū, our people responded magnificently.

At Muriwai yesterday, Waitematā District Commander Superintendent Naila Hassan, area leadership and almost all the Police staff who responded locally during the cyclone and afterwards attended a memorial for Craig Stevens and Dave van Zwanenberg, the two firefighters killed while responding to the emergency.

Eastern District Commander Superintendent Jeanette Park says she is extremely proud of the work of all staff involved in the response in Eastern – local staff, many of whom put their lives on the line to rescue others, and the hundreds from around the country who came to support the district in the following days and weeks.

“From day one, our staff have just put their heads down and got on with it,” she says.

“We witnessed some incredible acts of bravery on February 14 and have seen so many heart-warming shows of support for colleagues and the community since.”

Latest Articles