A week after Cyclone Gabrielle hits New Zealand, thousands are still missing.
When a storm sweeps across the country’s north and east, the prime minister warns, “Steep mountain ahead.” So far, 11 deaths have been reported.
Since Cyclone Gabrielle slammed the North Island last week, thousands of people are still missing and at least 11 people have died in New Zealand.
On February 12, a cyclone struck the island’s northern region before moving down the east coast and wreaking havoc.
The largest natural disaster to hit New Zealand in the last century, according to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, is Gabrielle.
Two more cyclone-related fatalities were reported by authorities on Sunday in severely damaged Hawke’s Bay.
Hipkins warned reporters in Wellington’s capital that further deaths could occur because there are more than 6,400 people still unaccounted for.
According to him, lives had been “turned upside down,” and rehabilitation remained a “high mountain ahead” due to telecommunications problems, a freshwater deficit, and damaged roads that still prevent some places from being accessed.
Hard to describe the situation on the ground in Hawke’s Bay. Response teams are doing outstanding work but it’s devastating to see the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle. Thank you to all those who met with us and told their stories. pic.twitter.com/oEZpA9pBFg— Damien O'Connor (@DamienOConnorMP) February 19, 2023
Hipkins added that in addition to crops being destroyed and 28,000 homes still being without power, supply systems have been disrupted, making it difficult to move commodities.
He issued a warning last week that the recovery process would be lengthy, with some places not expecting power to be restored for weeks and the cleanup process possibly taking much longer.
Hipkins claimed that New Zealand is now considering aid offers from the US and other nations after first rejecting them.
On February 18, 2023, in the Esk Valley near Napier, an automobile is seen stranded in the sand following Cyclone Gabrielle. – Once Cyclone Gabrielle made landfall on New Zealand’s northern coast on February 12, the country declared a state of emergency. (Str / AFP photo) / New Zealand NEW ZEALAND IS OUT
A state of emergency has been declared in New Zealand as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle’s impact on the country’s northern coast. [AFP]
For just the third time in its history, New Zealand proclaimed a national state of emergency on Tuesday.
One of the 12 offers of international assistance received thus far, according to Hipkins, is a team from Fiji that will travel to New Zealand in the upcoming days to help with its recovery. Australia’s 27 emergency personnel are helping with humanitarian efforts.
On Sunday, teams from the Auckland Council quickly assessed damaged properties in the coastal communities of Muriwai and Piha, which are located about 60 kilometers (40 miles) west of the country’s largest metropolis, Auckland.
Since the typhoon, which washed away farms, bridges, and cattle while flooding homes, emergency authorities and the military have been dropping vital supplies from helicopters to populations that have been left stranded.
After reports of looting, the police have dispatched an additional 100 officers to Hawke’s Bay and the neighbouring town of Tairawhiti, especially to remote locations.