Norfolk Island declares red alert as cyclone Gabrielle approaches
Sydney, Australia, Feb 11 (EFE).- The authorities of the remote Norfolk Island, located in the Pacific Ocean between Australia and New Zealand, declared a red alert on Saturday due to the imminent arrival of a powerful cyclone.
“Prepare to move to the strongest part of your house, or if you need to, relocate to the Emergency Shelter at Rawson Hall,” the Emergency Management Norfolk Island (EMNI) said in a statement.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on social media that tropical cyclone Gabrielle was approaching Norfolk Island – located about 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) northeast of Sydney – “with conditions deteriorating this afternoon with destructive winds, very rough surf and heavy rain.”
Eric Hutchinson, the administrator of the Norfolk Islands – which has a population of about 2,000 – told public broadcaster ABC “power outages, trees coming down, the potential for houses to lose roofs” was expected due to strong winds.
After passing through the remote Australian island, Gabrielle, currently category 2 – out of a maximum of 5 -, will head to the north of New Zealand, which is still recovering from the devastating floods that occurred at the end of January.
The Norfolk Island territory, which is made up of three islands and is a popular tourist destination, was a convict settlement between the late 18th and early 19th centuries, where the worst convicts of Australia, then a British colony, were sent until it was vacated after a riot.
It remained uninhabited until 1856, when a group of settlers, descendants of Tahitians and relatives of the earlier mutineers, settled in the place, recognized as a non-mainland Australian territory in 1979. EFE