Cyclone Gabrielle Brings Destructive Winds and Heavy Rain to New Zealand
On Tuesday 14th of February 2023, Cyclone Gabrielle caused serious destruction in New Zealand. The powerful cyclone caused landslides, flooded houses and left 100,000 people without electricity. Prime Minister Chris Hipkins expressed his concern for the New Zealanders affected and strongly emphasized that, “there is extensive damage across the country”.
The New Zealand government declared a national state of emergency and Kieran McAnulty, Minister of Emergency Management, spoke about the “unprecedented nature of the climatic event”. Residents in the coastal settlements, like Muriwai, were forced to evacuate with just a flashlight and some essentials at midnight.
The cyclone was first detected off the north-eastern coast of Australia 8 days prior, and has now become the third state of emergency in New Zealand since the mosque attacks in 2019 and the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
Prime Minister McAnulty warned the public to be prepared for more rain and strong winds on Tuesday and reminded them that “this is a significant disaster with a real threat to the lives of New Zealanders.” The national state of emergency has been extended for another seven days.
For those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle, the damage has been immense and far-reaching, yet they have remained resilient in the face of destruction.