Four dead from Hurricane Gabrielle, also New Zealand earthquake

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The washed away Brookfields Bridge, near Napier
NOS News

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit the south of New Zealand’s North Island this morning. The quake follows the storm of recent days, caused by Hurricane Gabrielle. At least four people were killed, police said.

In Wellington, everything shook for a few seconds this morning, a witness told Reuters news agency. The quake was also felt on the South Island.

One of the four people killed in the storm is a firefighter who was missing since Sunday after a landslide near Auckland. Three people died in Hawke’s Bay, a region on the east coast of the North Island. Authorities fear that more victims will be found now that the hurricane has weakened.

According to New Zealand Police, there have been 1,442 reports of people being unreachable by phone or online in recent days, mostly from the eastern regions of the North Island.

State of emergency declared

Hurricane Gabrielle made landfall in northern New Zealand around midnight (Dutch time) on Monday and continued to move southeast of Auckland. Gabrielle caused flooding and landslides. Rivers in Hawke’s Bay are still dangerously high.

The local government yesterday ordered further evacuations. Also, 225,000 households no longer have electricity, which makes cleaning up more difficult.

New Zealand declared a national emergency in recent days, for the third time in the country’s history. This previously happened with the earthquake in Christchurch (2011) and the corona pandemic (2020). By declaring a state of emergency, the central government has more powers to provide aid in the affected areas.

  • Hundreds of thousands without power in New Zealand: ‘Heaviest weather in 100 years’
  • Another storm in northern New Zealand
  • Abroad

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