New Zealand is battered by Cyclone Gita: State of emergency declared across country as residents are told it’s TOO LATE to evacuate as tens of thousands are left without power

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
By Paul Martin

New Zealand will be smashed by tropical cyclone Gita on Tuesday night
Christchurch, Grey District and Buller District declared a state of emergency
Mayor has urged people to stay inside and not to travel unless it is necessary
Cyclone Gita is expected to bring gusts close to 150km/h and major flooding

20 February 2018

New Zealand is being battered by cyclone Gita after the tropical storm devastated the Pacific island nations of Fiji and Tonga last week.

Seven districts – including Christchurch, Grey District and Buller District have declared a state of emergency as the cyclone began to make landfall overnight.

Tens of thousands were without power on Tuesday night as locals were warned to prepare for floods, huge waves and gusts of winds reaching close to 200km/h.

New Zealand defence force troops were deployed as reports came through that homeowners were trapped on their roofs by flood waters.

More than 60 tourists , mostly from China, are reportedly trapped inside two tour buses in Whataroa, on the South Island, as the eye of the storm passes through.

The council has urged people to stay inside and not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary.

Even before the storm hit in full force, heavy rains in the centre of New Zealand brought floods in Christchurch, prompting a warning from Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

‘The full impact of the storm will be felt overnight and tomorrow morning,’ she said, urging residents of low-lying areas to evacuate.

‘We are expecting homes to be flooded.’

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