New Zealand in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle

Five people have now died in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle in New Zealand. The cyclone made landfall last Sunday and caused floods, road destruction, helicopter rescue missions, and a shortage of essential supplies. Police said on Wednesday that they were still unable to contact over 1,400 people. The cyclone had weakened by Wednesday morning and moved away.

Rescue teams continue to help those affected by the storm, which caused incessant rains and flash floods. Around 140,000 people remain without electricity despite power being slowly restored. The government is particularly worried about the Hawke’s Bay region, full of agricultural land, rugged mountains and hard-to-reach towns.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, warned that the situation remained dangerous despite improving weather, and urged people not to return to their homes until they have been given the all-clear to do so.

The government has declared a state of emergency, the third in the nation’s history, and Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty has said that the country is in it for the “long haul.” McAnulty also said that this is a significant disaster and will take many weeks for the most affected areas to recover.

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