Last week, we posted about the floods ravaging the North Island and parts of the South, ending with the hope that this would be the last of the wet weather to come. Since then, the floods have turned into Cyclone Gabrielle. The country has been lashed by intense rainfall bought on by the cyclone, with record-breaking storms and waves that have battered beach fronts and burst river banks. In total, 60,000 homes have been left without power.
As of today, Tuesday the 14th, Auckland, Northland, Tairawhiti, The Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Hawke's Bay have all been declared a state of emergency. Further flooding has occurred over Napier, with multiple people requiring assistance. Right now, people in the emergency areas are being evacuated or asked to find the nearest hill as conditions likely worsen. Local authorities have also asked people in the emergency areas to reduce their water consumption and be prepared to go without power for the next few days, possibly weeks.
These recent developments put the country in its third national emergency this century, the first being in 2011 with the earthquakes, followed by the pandemic in 2020. It’s not known exactly how long it will take to get roads operational and mount rescue missions, but Civil Defence teams are responding to the situation at the time of this article.
For more help during Cyclone Gabrielle.
We recommend that you keep up to date with the news, if at all possible. While many areas are without power, if you have loved ones in any of the emergency areas, check in on their progress.
For a breakdown of the emergency as it stands, with information about each area, visit the RNZ website link here.
For live updates and coverage on the whole country, visit Newshub here.
If you just need a place to stay for the night or for an emergency shelter, visit Stuff’s regional listing here for phone numbers and community centre information. Information is also included for those looking to volunteer or donate money to those in their area.
For further support or for information on what to do, visit the National Emergency Management Agency website here.
For anyone on Work and Income support or in need of assistance, visit here.
Anyone in an emergency who is threatening their life is advised to call 111. Otherwise, the advice is to keep the lines clear for anyone who needs it right now.
The government has already pledged an $11.5m community support fund package in light of recent events. But everything we can do as a country helps. Make sure to spread emergency information to everyone you can and to check in with loved ones — although we advise against heavy use of the phone lines.
Many areas are without power now, so be aware that making contact with others up North may be difficult. We advise watching the news for more updates.
To everyone in New Zealand right now, our hearts go out to you.
About the author - meet Earthan James McCulloch
James is a literary student and environmental enthusiast who likes thinking about the better futures we could have (and those we best avoid). When not playing with other people’s dogs or taking long, mindful walks, he’s usually found reading and writing, often at the local library. You can check him out on his blog for something a little different, where he talks about all things literary or otherwise.