New Zealand's Auckland braces for ex-cyclone Gabrielle impact

World Materials 12 February 2023 20:52 (UTC +04:00)

Residents of New Zealand's biggest city were urged on Sunday to prepare for the impact of a storm that buffeted Australia's Norfolk Island overnight, Trend reports citing Reuters.

Gabrielle, downgraded to a sub-tropical low pressure system from a Category 2 cyclone, hit Norfolk Island on Saturday night, with its most destructive winds missing the island, before tracking to New Zealand, 1,460 kilometres (910 miles) south.

New Zealand's North Island and its largest city Auckland braced for the storm's full impact from Sunday night. Last month Auckland was hit by record rainfall that sparked floods and killed four people.

The city of 1.6 million was in line for a "full trifecta" of heavy rain, strong winds and storm surges, said Georgina Griffith, a spokeswoman for the nation's weather forecaster, MetService.

"Don't be fooled if you're not affected until Tuesday," she told reporters.

Wind and rain were spreading from the country's north, with a 140 km per hour (87 miles per hour) wind gust reported on the country's North Island on Sunday afternoon, MetService said.

"Rainfall amounts over the next three days show that although things get going today, the bulk of the rain is expected on Monday," it warned, as authorities tipped rain of up to 40 mm (1.6 inches) on Monday.

Auckland Emergency Management said it was working to get 26 emergency shelters up-and-running in the city in time for the wild weather's arrival.