Live: Cyclone Cook weather could be the worst since 1968
12 April, 2017
Metservice is warning people to take heed of weather warnings saying conditions could be similar to those experienced during Cyclone Giselle which contributed to the Wahine disaster in 1968.
The country is being warned to prepare for damaging gales, enormous storm and surges and widespread flooding as Cyclone Cook bears down, threatening to plunge regions into chaos.
Although the cyclone has since been downgraded to a extra tropical low but it is still expected to carry a big punch.
Severe weather warnings have been issued in parts of the country as heavy started to pound Auckland this afternoon. There have been several reports of flooding around the city already.
The MetService has put out a heavy rain warning for Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Waikato, Waitomo, Mt Taranaki, Tongariro NP, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough Sounds, Richmond and Bryant Ranges, North Otago, Dunedin and Clutha.
Meteorologist Andy Best said he was worried people weren't heeding warnings.
He said he'd been working as a forecaster at MetService for about 20 years, and had never seen an event like this one.
"This a very dramatic event."
He said the last weather event to have similar conditions was Cyclone Giselle, which hit New Zealand in 1968 and contributed to the Wahine disaster.
The sinking of the Lyttelton-Wellington ferry Wahine on April 10, 1968 was New Zealand's worst modern maritime disaster, claiming more than 50 lives.
This afternoon Thames-Coromandel District Council Mayor Sandra Goudie has declared a civil defence emergency for the district. Waikato Civil Defence has warned residents to stock up on enough food and water for seven days.
Aucklanders are being told to reconsider travel plans and warned to expect gusts of 140km/hr and possible disruptions to transport, particularly ferries and flights, tomorrow.
Great Barrier Islanders are being warned to brace for the worst weather they've seen in recent times.
Auckland Civil Defence head of emergency management operations Aaron Davis said
"The rain, combined with severe wind and coastal storm surge, could create extreme impacts for Great Barrier Island," said Davis.
Thames-Coromandel District Council Mayor, Sandra Goudie has declared a civil defence emergency for the district.
4:43 PM - 12 Apr 2017
Transport authorities urged drivers to stay alert and to keep a safe travelling distance.