Floods Caused By Cyclone Gabrielle Prompted New Zealanders To Swim To Safety- Due to the storm’s destruction, the government declared a nationwide emergency on Tuesday, only the third time in history.
The calamity, according to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, is the largest meteorological event to affect New Zealand in a century.
At least 225,000 people, according to officials, were without electricity on Tuesday.
After getting trapped in a landslide at Muriwai, west of Auckland, a firefighter is still unaccounted for. According to rescue organizations, a second firefighter engaged was severely hurt.
The extent of the storm’s devastation is most significant in coastal villages in the North Island’s far north and east coast, with Hawke’s Bay, Coromandel, and Northland among the worst affected.
Affected areas are home to about a third of New Zealand’s 5.1 million inhabitants.
On Monday night, Marcelle Smith and her two small children moved inland with their families to safer ground, she told the BBC. Marcelle Smith and her family reside in a cliff-front home in Parua Bay on the east coast of the North Island.
Her husband had stayed behind to put their house under security. On Tuesday, they were still facing unpredictable weather, and several barriers that had been erected had already been swept away.
“We are trying to safeguard what we have devoted our lives to. Currently, it’s man versus nature, “She spoke to the BBC. According to local media, some Hawke’s Bay residents were forced to swim out of their flooded homes by climbing through bedroom windows. The local population has been forewarned that they may go weeks without power.
People waiting for help on roofs were seen in aerial photos of waterlogged areas.
Trees that have been uprooted, bent street lights and poles, and endless rows of flooded homes are just a few examples of the damage’s massive scope.
Dramatic images of rescuers bringing in a stranded sailor whose yacht was blown out to sea after its anchor line snapped in high winds were released by New Zealand’s Defense Force. After an overnight search expedition, it was discovered off Great Barrier Island, according to authorities. Over 100 people also rushed to evacuation centers in Auckland overnight, according to officials.
Mr. Hipkins stated on Tuesday that “the level and destruction that we are seeing has not been observed in a generation.”
“We are still developing a picture of the cyclone’s effects as it develops. But what is certain is that the impact is substantial and widespread.”
He has promised to provide NZ$11.5 million (£6 million; US$7.3 million) in aid to help the disaster’s victims.
The Minister for Emergency Management, Kieran McAnulty, declared a national emergency on Tuesday morning and called the storm “unprecedented.”
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The government can speed its reaction to the crisis thanks to the emergency order. The Northland, Auckland, Tairawhiti, Tararua, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Hawke’s Bay regions have all used it.
Only twice has New Zealand previously proclaimed a state of emergency, first at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and once after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
According to climate change minister James Shaw, “the severity of it, of course, [is] made worse by the fact that our world temperatures have already grown by 1.1 degrees.”
“We must cease using justifications for our inaction. We cannot bury our heads in the sand when the beach is flooded. Now is the time to take action.”
☔️Rain clouds are breaking up significantly across the North Island tonight.
⚠️There are still some heavy areas of rain (or showers). Wettest weather mostly in the lower half of the North Island – & the north eastern corner of the South Island.
— WeatherWatch.co.nz (@WeatherWatchNZ) February 14, 2023
Just two weeks after the region experienced catastrophic rainfall and flooding that resulted in the deaths of four people, Cyclone Gabrielle made landfall in New Zealand.
MetService, the nation’s meteorological office, reported Tuesday that the first 45 days of 2023 saw Auckland receive roughly half of its annual rainfall.
According to the MetService, conditions are anticipated to improve over the next few days, and heavy rain advisories are being revoked for various regions of the nation. However, it has warned that wind may potentially result in more harm.
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