It was only the third time in history that the New Zealand government declared a national state of emergency owing to the storm's devastation .Once before, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, has New Zealand issued a national state of emergency. The calamity, according to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, is the largest meteorological event to affect New Zealand in a century. At least 225,000 people, according to officials, were without electricity on Tuesday.
The extent of the storm's devastation is greatest in coastal villages in the North Island's far north and east coast, with Hawke's Bay, Coromandel, and Northland among the worst affected. Affected areas are home to about a third of New Zealand's 5.1 million inhabitants.
According to local media, some Hawke's Bay residents were forced to swim out of their flooded homes by climbing through bedroom windows. The local population has been forewarned that they may go weeks without power. Trees have been uprooted, bent street lights and poles, and endless rows of flooded homes are just a few examples of the damage's massive scope.
Extent Of Destruction
More than 100 people left for evacuation centers overnight in Auckland, according to officials. According to Mr. Hipkins on Tuesday, "The level and destruction that we are seeing has not been observed in a generation. As the cyclone develops, we are still forming an understanding of its repercussions. The impact is strong and extensive, though, and that is what we do know."
He has committed NZ$11.5 million (£6 million; US$7.3 million) in donations to help those impacted by the catastrophe. The storm, according to Minister of Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty, was "unprecedented," he said when he declared the national state of emergency on Tuesday morning. The declaration of an emergency helps the government to coordinate its response to the tragedy. It has been used in the Northland, Auckland, Tairawhiti, Tararua, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Hawke's Bay regions.
Climate Change Crisis
Climate change has been blamed by the government for the disaster's size. Climate change minister James Shaw noted that the seriousness of the situation was "obviously [made] worse by the fact that our global temperatures have already climbed by 1.1 degrees. Just two weeks after the region experienced catastrophic rainfall and flooding that resulted in the deaths of four people, Cyclone Gabrielle made landfall in New Zealand.
MetService, the nation's meteorological office, reported on Tuesday that the first 45 days of 2023 saw Auckland receive roughly half of its annual rainfall. According to the MetService, conditions are anticipated to improve over the next few days, and heavy rain advisories are being revoked for various regions of the nation. However, it has issued a warning that wind may potentially result in more harm.
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