According to Stella Mountain, an Australian who recently returned from New Zealand, the scenes in parts of the North Island hit by Cyclone Gabrielle were “apocalyptic.” According to 9News.com.au., Mountain was in the Hawke’s Bay region of the North Island, helping her Kiwi boyfriend and his relatives recover from the disaster. Cyclone Gabrielle left at least 11 people dead across New Zealand. It caused significant damage to homes, businesses, farms, and infrastructure, including kilometres of roads.
This week, New Zealand extended the state of national emergency for seven days for the Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay areas. Mountain filmed scenes of the damage as she drove around the coastal city of Napier in Hawke’s Bay, which showed upturned vehicles, wrecked homes, and large trees uprooted
Mountain said the region faces a long road to recovery. The disaster struck on the apple and grape harvest eve, a big blow for growers and wineries. New Zealand authorities have launched a massive recovery operation over the past few weeks, aiming to rebuild vital infrastructure and restore essential services.
New Zealand’s Minister for Emergency Management, Kieran McAnulty, said thousands of residents continue to be affected by the disaster. “The impact of Cyclone Gabrielle continues to be deeply felt by many communities in the North Island,” he said. “In the Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay regions, thousands of people are still unable to return to their homes due to flood damage.” The Cyclone Gabrielle disaster is the third national state of emergency after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Picture: Facebook / Manawatū District Council