New Zealand anticipates a violent storm Gabrielle after record floods

The beginning of a severe storm has left tens of thousands of individuals in New Zealand without electricity.

Overnight, Gabrielle pummeled Australia’s Norfolk Island and is now lashing the northernmost region of New Zealand.

Forecasters have issued “red” heavy wind and rain warnings for Auckland and Northland, predicting 200mm of precipitation and winds of up to 130kph (80mph).

Residents have been preparing and evacuation centres have been established.

They have been instructed to ensure that they have enough supplies for three days in the event that they become stranded at home.

The storm, which has been downgraded from a cyclone, arrives weeks after torrential rain inundated the city of Auckland, which remains under an emergency declaration.

There have been tens of thousands of sandbags distributed due to concerns that the saturated ground and weakened infrastructure have made homes more susceptible to flooding.

Two individuals traverse a flooded road in New Zealand.

North Island of New Zealand is still recovering from recent record flooding.
Air New Zealand, the national airline, has canceled a number of domestic flights in anticipation of the storm.

On Norfolk Island, which encompasses just over 34 square kilometers (13 square miles) in the Pacific Ocean between New Caledonia and New Zealand, authorities reported that they were clearing storm-damaged debris and trees from roads and restoring power.

Emergency Management Norfolk Island stated, “There is still a substantial amount of clean up to be done, and it may take some time to restore services such as power.”

MetService of New Zealand has issued a warning that winds could still be strong enough to damage trees and power lines, and that enough rain could fall in the coming days to cause additional flooding and landslides.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins stated, “Our primary message to the entire nation is to take the severe weather warning seriously and to be prepared.”

“Ensure that you have your grab-and-go kits and that you know where to go in the event that you must evacuate your homes.”

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