In New Zealand north residents are preparing for a challenging night as Cyclone Gabrielle batters the nation with violent winds and rain.
During the storm, at least 46,000 houses lost electricity, and hundreds more flights were canceled.
Nearly a third of the 5.1 million people in these nine regions are now under a state of emergency.
The storm was anticipated to reach its height on Monday night, and rain was predicted to last into Tuesday.
Authorities in Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, had earlier ordered the evacuation of 50 residences near a 30 m-tall tower that was in danger of collapsing, according to local media.
There are also dozens of evacuation centers set up around the city.
People caught by the rising waters have also been reported by emergency services, including a family stranded on a flooded roadway. More than 100 cries for assistance have reportedly been received by authorities since Sunday.
Just a few weeks after Auckland and the surrounding areas experienced record rainfall and flooding that resulted in the deaths of four people, Cyclone Gabrielle is now affecting New Zealand’s north.
Chris Hipkins, the prime minister of New Zealand, was one of those left behind in the northern city on Monday as flights to Wellington, the country’s capital, and other destinations were canceled.
He said, “Extreme weather event has followed extreme weather event.” “It’s conceivable that things will become worse before they get better.”
On Monday, he unveiled an NZ$11.5 million ($7.3 million; £6 million) aid package.
For just the third time in the nation’s history, the government is considering issuing a nationwide state of emergency, according to emergency management minister Kieran McAnulty.
Local government agencies have more authority to deal with dangerous conditions when an emergency has been declared, including limiting travel and offering assistance.
The city of Whangarei, which is located north of Auckland, received 100.5mm of rain in the previous 12 hours, according to Metservice, New Zealand’s meteorological organization.
Monday would be an “important day,” according to Mr. McAnulty, because of the “very dangerous” confluence of strong winds and heavy rain.
The Northland region was blasted by winds of up to 140 km/h (87 mph), and the Auckland Harbour Bridge had to be shut down because of 110 km/h gusts.
The minister cautioned that it might take days to repair the power grid for families left without electricity because the harsh weather made it “unsafe” to work on the network.
Gabrielle’s strength had previously been decreased, but the Metservice stated in its most recent warning on Monday that it will still bring “very heavy rain and potentially damaging winds.”
Despite not yet making landfall, the cyclone has already uprooted trees, damaged roads, and brought down power lines.
People are being encouraged not to travel before Tuesday as a result of the closure of numerous schools and local government offices in Auckland and the North Island.
Meanwhile, the cancellation of 509 flights caused delays for about 10,000 foreign Air New Zealand passengers.
Normal operations are anticipated to resume on Tuesday and to aid in recovery efforts, the national carrier has added 11 extra domestic flights to its schedule.