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New Zealanders Brace for Cyclone Gabrielle

Garbrielle storm

In preparation for Cyclone Gabrielle, New Zealand’s largest metropolis will close schools and cancel flights.

As New Zealand’s largest city prepares for Cyclone Gabrielle’s arrival, schools throughout Auckland will be closed starting on Monday, according to CNN affiliate Radio New Zealand.

According to RNZ, more than 36 schools and institutions would close their doors despite their being no official order from the Ministry of Education, and the InterCity transport system will also scale back its services.

As Gabrielle approached, Air New Zealand announced it was suspending numerous long-haul international flights, Tasman and Pacific Island flights, as well as domestic services into and out of Auckland on Monday, according to Reuters.

Chris Hipkins, the prime minister of New Zealand, urged people in Auckland to reduce unnecessary travel and to work from home if possible during a press conference with local media on Sunday.

Hipkins advised reporters to “please make sure you’re prepared, make sure you have your plans in place, if you have to stay here for a while or if you have to leave” since severe weather is expected.

The newest forecasts from New Zealand’s MetService warn that while Gabrielle has lost her tropical system characteristics as of Saturday, it still poses a “very high chance of intense, impactful, and unprecedented weather over several portions of the North Island from Sunday to Tuesday.”

Prior to Cyclone Gabrielle’s arrival on February 12 in Auckland, New Zealand, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins of New Zealand (C), Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni (R), and Transport Minister Michael Wood (L) met in the operations room of Waka Kotahi Auckland Transport.

As part of the regional response to Gabrielle, a state of emergency was proclaimed in Northland, a subtropical region on New Zealand’s North Island, on Sunday for an initial term of seven days, according to a notice from local authorities.

Six state of emergency alerts have been issued for Northland in the previous 50 years, according to the statement.

Auckland Emergency Management issued a warning that heavy winds were expected to hit the city on Sunday night, with gusts as high as 140 kph (90 mph) or higher starting on Monday.

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