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New Zealand. Cyclone Gabrielle is raging. Canceled flights, thousands of homes without electricity

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New Zealand is struggling with heavy rain and strong gusts of wind brought by Cyclone Gabrielle. One of the firefighters participating in the rescue operation is believed to be missing as a result of a landslide, the other is in a critical condition. More than 500 flights were canceled due to the violent weather, and tens of thousands of households suffered power cuts.

Cyclone Gabrielle hit Monday morning local time on the north coast of New Zealand, bringing heavy rains and wind gusts of 168 kilometers per hour. Particularly dangerous weather conditions prevail in the north of the country. At Cape Reinga, wind gusts of up to 140 kilometers per hour were measured.

A volunteer firefighter is missing

A New Zealand firefighter has gone missing after a house where rescuers were working on slid down a hill in a coastal town near Auckland.

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Kerry Gregory, director general of Fire and Emergency New Zealand, said a volunteer fire team was investigating a flooded house in Muriwai. Then a landslide hit the property and trapped two firefighters under the earth.

One of the men has been recovered and is in critical condition. The search for the second had to be abandoned because, as Gregory said, it was too dangerous to continue.

A state of emergency in many regions

Preparations for the impact of the element began on Sunday afternoon. The mayor of Auckland warned on social media that this was the last chance to protect homes from the downpours and strong winds. Local authorities also said evacuation centers were operating throughout the city.

– Put safety first. don’t risk it. Act quickly if you see rising water, New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency said on Monday evening.

More than 500 flights have been canceled in New Zealand’s North Island, where the situation is most severe. In addition, about 58,000 customers were left without power. Schools and offices have been closed in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, and in other cities in the north of the country. Auckland and seven other regions are in a state of emergency.

Cyclone Gabrielle in New ZealandReuters

“There have been major disruptions to public transport, with aircraft, ferries, buses and trains having been shut down or operating in a limited capacity,” said Kieran McAnulty, New Zealand’s emergency management minister.

Police said they were trying to locate a missing person who was on a ship off Great Barrier Island, 90 kilometers northeast of central Auckland, on Monday.

The first evacuations were also necessary. Engineers estimated that strong gusts of wind could cause the historic Shot Tower in Auckland to topple at any moment onto surrounding homes, forcing authorities to evacuate their residents.

A lot of recordings documenting the action of the element appeared on social media.

The danger does not pass

“I think parts of the Auckland region that have not yet experienced severe wind conditions will experience a gale tonight,” New Zealand MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths said on Monday, as quoted by Reuters. According to forecasts by the meteorologist, the storm surge may peak at 2 am Monday to Tuesday local time (i.e. around 2 pm on Monday in Poland) in the eastern parts of the Auckland region.

The cyclone hit northern New Zealand two weeks after devastating flooding in the same region left four people dead and thousands displaced from their homes.

Cyclone Gabrielle in New ZealandReuters

Cyclone Gabrielle in New ZealandReuters

PAP, NZ Herald, NZ Civil Defense, Reuters

Main photo source: Reuters

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