Torrential rains deprive 58,000 New Zealanders of electricity

The wind and the rain got the better of New Zealand’s infrastructure. Monday morning, the afternoon on the spot, the head of the National Emergency Management Agency Roger Ball announced that 58,000 people were without electricity because of a tropical storm falling down on the north of the country.

Although the storm was downgraded from its cyclone status as it approached New Zealand on Sunday, downpours and high winds downed trees, damaged roads and brought down power lines. Wind gusts of up to 140 km/h have hit northern New Zealand, and gusts of up to 110 km/h have been recorded at the Auckland Harbor Bridge.

“Things will get worse before they get better”

One person is missing, police said. She was on board a boat from which she had issued a distress signal Monday morning near the island of the Great Barrier (north). New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, based in Wellington, was among thousands of people stranded in Auckland (north), after flights were canceled due to the storm.

“Things will get worse before they get better,” Chris Hipkins told a news conference on Monday, calling on people to “prepare” and “stay indoors if you can.”

Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty had warned it would be a “critical day” due to the “highly dangerous” combination of strong winds and heavy rain.

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