Storm: nine dead after cyclone in New Zealand

Nine dead after cyclone hits New Zealand

New Zealand Armed Forces soldiers bring supplies to Moteo Marae near Puketapu on the banks of the Tutaekuri River. photo

© New Zealand Defense Force/NEW ZEALAND DEFENSE FORCE/AAP/dpa

“Gabrielle” brought a lot of misery and suffering to the north of the island. An interim balance is sad: More and more details about the devastating damage are becoming known.

The death toll after the devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle in New Zealand has risen to nine. There are serious concerns about ten missing people, police and civil protection said at a press conference in the capital Wellington on Saturday.

The priority is to find these people and provide food and water to the isolated communities. Helicopters are also used for this. There have been reports of looting, but these are isolated cases, it said.

The tropical storm had caused severe damage in large parts of the North Island since the beginning of the week with gale force winds and heavy rain. The Hawke’s Bay region was hit particularly hard. Many houses, roads and bridges have been destroyed, and power and communication lines have been damaged.

At times the water was so high in some areas that only the roofs of houses were sticking out of the water. When the water left, enormous amounts of mud remained in many buildings. The government had already declared a national emergency on Tuesday – only for the third time in the history of the Pacific state, which has around five million inhabitants.


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