Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

New Zealand evacuates people ahead of Cyclone Cook

Hundreds of people have been evacuated as the second major storm in a week batters New Zealand's North Island.

Slips, flooding, and fallen trees and powerlines have forced the closures of parts of SH2, SH25, SH30 and SH34, according to the NZTA.

"All heavy rain warnings and severe gale warnings associated with the Cyclone have now been lifted", New Zealand's official Metservice said in a statement.

Cyclone Cook hit after heavy rains from Cyclone Debbie struck last week.

It should pass the east of the South Island during Friday morning, bringing rain and wind to the eastern seaboard, he said.

New Zealanders began cleaning up yesterday after a powerful cyclone swept across the country, forcing families from their homes and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

Predictions that the storm would be the worst since 1968, when Cyclone Giselle sank the Wahine in Wellington's harbour, didn't come to fruition, Crouch said.

The cyclone formed around Vanuatu on Sunday and moved towards New Caledonia, bringing heavy rain and winds and causing cuts to power and water supplies, reported Newshub.

One major concern has been the overflow of the Tapu River in the Coromandel Peninsula, which could be close to breaching its banks.

"We are now experiencing widespread outages across our network regions as the wild weather wreaks havoc on the network", power company Unison, which provides power to Hawke's Bay said on Thursday evening. Thousands of homes were left without power and two people were hospitalised after a tree hit their auto.

It seems Auckland has largely survived ex #CycloneCook unscathed.

Parts of New Zealand's North Island are now under a state of emergency, with residents in low-lying Coromandel, which has already seen landslips and closed roads, told to leave immediately.

Air New Zealand has suspended flights from Tauranga Airport, while the military has placed 500 troops on standby.

That system and others will be tested again by rainfall from the latest storm.

Clear gutters, check drains, keep an eye on weather forecasts and plan travel very carefully - it is going to be a very wet lead up to Easter across the Auckland region.

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