Nine people have been killed by Cyclone Gabrielle in New Zealand, which devastated large areas of the country.
Police have identified nearly 5,000 people as out of touch with their relatives. The search continues for approximately 10 missing people.
Authorities reported that 62,000 households nationwide were without power, with 40,000 of them being in Hawkes Bay. This is one of the most affected regions.
New Zealand declared a emergency this week for the third time. Prime Minister Chris Hipkins stated that Gabrielle was the country’s “biggest natural catastrophe” this century.
He also warned that the number of victims could increase as rescue teams attempt to reach hundreds more communities cut off.
Many families were forced to flee their homes due to the torrential rains.
On Sunday, the cyclone swept through the East Coast and struck the North Island’s uppermost region. It also devastated Hawkes Bay.
According to New Zealand’s navy, 26 tonnes of supplies were being shipped to Napier, a coastal city in the region as part of an aid operation.
According to the New Zealand Herald, almost 2,000 Hawkes Bay residents were provided shelter by evacuation centres. However, many of these people are not within the reach or ability of emergency services.
Four children are among the dead following Cyclone Gabrielle’s flooding and landslides
New Zealand declares a national emergency following major damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle
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Mister Hipkins stated that the emergency response was ongoing and that people were working round the clock on the North Island.
According to the country’s air force, helicopters carrying food and water were being flown to Tutira (65 miles (105km) north).
Ben Green, Civil Defence group control in Tairawhiti Gisborne said that “we have our work cut out.” We are focusing on the provision of reliable water, reaching isolated persons and reestablishing phone and internet connections.
Two weeks ago, another severe storm had caused heavy flooding. The cyclone struck Sunday and four people were killed in Auckland.