Flights canceled – tens of thousands without power

Flights canceled – tens of thousands without power

New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, was once again hit by severe storms. Photo: dpa/Brett Phipps

In New Zealand, tropical cyclone “Gabriel” will hit the North Island on Monday, accompanied by heavy rains and strong winds. Tens of thousands of homes lost power.

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Just a few weeks after devastating floods in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, the region has once again been hit by severe storms: Tropical cyclone Gabriel hit the North Island on Monday with heavy rains and strong winds. The first hills had already reached Pacific State on Sunday.

Tens of thousands of homes lost power. Authorities said on Monday that some 58,000 families in New Zealand’s North Island have been affected by the failure. Disaster Relief Minister Kieran McNulty said it could take days to restore power because it was not safe to work on the power grid during the storm. The storm also caused traffic chaos, and hundreds of flights were cancelled.

Although the storm was not as hurricane as first feared, it uprooted trees, damaged roads, and destroyed power lines. A state of emergency has been declared in five northern regions, including Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. McNulty spoke of a “very dangerous” combination of strong winds and torrential rain.

The population must remain safe

Most schools in Auckland and other cities remained closed. In towns like Whangarei in the Northland region and on the Coromandel Peninsula, residents have been urged to stay safe. “We still have the worst,” said Roger Bell of the New Zealand Civil Defense. In some cases, wind gusts of up to 160 kilometers per hour have already been measured, according to the MetService meteorological service. Gabriel should reach parts of the South Island during the day.

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“We still have a few days of severe weather ahead of us,” said MetService expert Angus Haynes. There hasn’t been so many severe weather warnings at this high level in such a short time. More flooding, power outages and road closures are expected through Tuesday.

At the end of January, four people died in a catastrophic flood in Auckland. Eyewitnesses spoke of the worst floods they had ever experienced. Some parts of the airport in the capital, which has a population of 1.6 million, were also flooded.

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