The New Zealand government has declared a national state of emergency after Cyclone Gabrielle lashed the North Island. Signing the declaration Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty said, this is an unprecedented weather event that is having major impacts across much of the North Island. He said, this is a significant disaster with a real threat to lives of New Zealanders as they are facing extensive floods, slips, damaged roads and infrastructure.
Over 38 thousand homes were left without power following heavy rain and strong winds. Flood waters and landslides have cut off many settlements across the country including some near Auckland which is New Zealand’s largest city.
This is only the third time New Zealand has declared a state of emergency, the other two were the 2019 Christchurch terror attacks and 2020 Covid pandemic.