National Emergency Declared In New Zealand Amid Cyclone Gabrielle
Amid widespread flooding and landslides caused due to Cyclone Gabrielle, New Zealand on Tuesday declared a National State of Emergency.
The declaration will apply to the six regions that have already declared a local State of Emergency: Northland, Auckland, Tairawhiti, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Hawkes Bay, read the New Zealand Government press release.
This is only the third time in New Zealand's history that a National State of Emergency has been declared.
The National State of Emergency was declared to assist in the response to Cyclone Gabrielle.
The Minister for Emergency Management, Kieran McAnulty, signed the declaration at 8.43 am (local time). Prior to signing the declaration he advised Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, and the Opposition spokesperson for emergency management, who were both supportive of the declaration, added the release.
“This is an unprecedented weather event that is having major impacts across much of the North Island,” Kieran McAnulty said.
McAnulty said the country was through the worst of the actual storm but they were facing extensive flooding, slips and damage to roads and infrastructure.
"Today we are expecting to see more rain and high winds. Since Sunday, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been in close contact with local civil defence emergency management (CDEM) teams of affected areas to assess the need for a declaration of a state of National Emergency. NEMA has been giving advice to myself and the Prime Minister on the need for a national State of Emergency based on the assessments of the local teams, and until now the advice has been that it was not necessary. NEMA met with the affected CDEM groups. Based on feedback from the groups and NEMA. I consider that the criteria have now been met and a National State of Emergency would be beneficial," he added.
McAnulty further stated that this declaration will enable the coordination of resources for affected regions.
" I want to emphasize that the Government has already been surging support and resources to the regions for some days," he said.
(With inputs from ANI)