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New Zealand. Cyclone Gabrielle has hit. Schools are closed, trains are not running. Strong wind, heavy rain

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Cyclone Gabrielle hit New Zealand on Monday morning local time. In the north of the country, the wind knocked down trees, some people lost access to electricity. Ahead of the arrival of the elements, the decision was made to close a large number of schools in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. Trains are closed until further notice and domestic airlines have canceled services to and from the city.

Initially, the cyclone named Gabrielle hit the Australian island of Norfolk, home to about 2,000 people, in the Pacific Ocean on Saturday evening local time. The resulting strong wind knocked down trees and caused power outages, although the island was spared the most dangerous gusts. The cyclone then headed south towards New Zealand.

Gabrielle in New Zealand

Gabrielle hit the North Island of New Zealand on Monday morning local time (Sunday evening in Poland). Dangerous weather conditions prevail in the north and in the middle of the country.

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Winds gusted to 80 miles per hour (133 km/h) in the northern reaches of New Zealand last night, MetService said. Trees were downed, flash floods and power outages occurred in the Northland region.

“Extremely strong winds and heavy rain”, red alerts

Even before the cyclone hit, wind gusts of up to 140 km/h were recorded on the North Island of New Zealand on Sunday afternoon. There was also heavy rainfall, but the most intense rainfall is expected on Monday, according to the national meteorological institution, MetService.

MetService warned of “extremely strong winds, heavy rain and high waves”. Red weather alerts have been issued for northern New Zealand. Lower level orange warnings are in effect across much of the North Island. The northern part of the South Island has also been affected by such alerts.

Reuters reminded that Auckland, the country’s largest city, which is expected to be particularly affected by the effects of the cyclone, was hit two weeks ago by record rainfall, causing flooding and the death of four people. The state of emergency is still in effect.

Schools closed

At 7 p.m. local time on Sunday, about 15,000 customers in the north of the country were without power, the public radio station RNZ reported. The services warn of power outages that may last for several days.

A large number of schools in Auckland will be closed on Monday, the radio station said. City residents are asked to stay at home on Monday and Tuesday if possible.

The Auckland Emergency Management Authority (AEM) has planned to open 26 shelters in the city.

Prime Minister: Make sure you’re prepared

“Our main message to people across the country is take the weather warning seriously and make sure you are prepared,” said Prime Minister Chris Hipkins. “Make sure you have first aid kits, make sure you know where you need to go in case you need to evacuate.”

As Hipkins warned, “given Gabrielle’s location and intensity, this cyclone poses a very high risk of severe, severe and unprecedented weather across many parts of the North Island from Sunday to Tuesday.”

No trains, canceled flights

Due to forecasted severe weather conditions, all trains in Auckland have been suspended until further notice.

Air New Zealand announced the cancellation of multiple long-haul international flights on Monday as well as domestic flights to and from Auckland.

Reuters, rnz.co.nz, tvnmeteo.pl, PAP

Main photo source: Reuters

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