New Zealand cyclone: Locating 13 remaining missing people ‘priority for police’ – National

The variety of people nonetheless unaccounted for within the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle that battered New Zealand almost two weeks in the past has dropped to 13, authorities stated on Saturday, as heavy rain in a single day prompted evacuations on the nation’s North Island.

Gabrielle struck the island’s northernmost area on Feb. 12 and tracked down the east coast inflicting widespread havoc, leaving not less than 11 lifeless and displacing 1000’s.

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The variety of people uncontactable exceeded 6,000 following the cyclone as communications have been knocked out in lots of areas, however has receded amid restoration efforts.

“Getting in contact with these remaining 13 stays a precedence for police and we’re working as quick as we will,” New Zealand police stated in an announcement early on Saturday.

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In Hawke’s Bay, one of many areas worst hit by Gabrielle, heavy rains in a single day introduced a renewed flood threat to the area the place an evacuation order was in place, Hawke’s Bay Emergency Administration Group stated.

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Properties within the Esk Valley locality had “been unoccupied for the reason that cyclone, however an extra 26 households evacuated yesterday,” the company stated.


About 680 kilometers (422 miles) north, on the city of Mangawhai in Northland, greater than 200 people sheltered in camps on Friday night time as rain brought on landslips that blocked highway exits, Radio New Zealand reported.

The wild climate additionally triggered flash floods and evacuation warnings in and round Auckland, the nation’s largest metropolis with a inhabitants of round 1.6 million.

New Zealand climate forecaster MetService stated a few of the heaviest rain was recorded in Auckland, with 155mm (6.1 inches) recorded there previously 24 hours.

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The forecaster had a heavy rain warning in place on Saturday for giant swaths of the North Island’s east coast, together with Hawke’s Bay.

“Heavy rain might trigger streams and rivers to rise quickly. Floor flooding and slips are additionally potential and driving situations could also be hazardous,” it stated.

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It stated it was additionally “intently monitoring” a tropical low close to Fiji that would flip right into a tropical cyclone subsequent week.

(Reporting by Sam McKeith; Enhancing by Sandra Maler and Kim Coghill)

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