Sydney, Australia, Jan 11 (EFE).- Several highways in New Zealand were closed due to widespread flooding on Wednesday as ex-tropical cyclone Hale caused power disruptions amid a state of emergency in the North Island.
The Civil Defense Emergency Management said in a statement late on Tuesday that the state of emergency would remain in force for a week even as Hale weakened as it moved through the oceanic country.
“A state of local emergency has been declared in Tairāwhiti owing to the ex-tropical cyclone Hale severe weather event,” the emergency department said.
“The state of local emergency comes into force immediately and expires 7 days after 10 p.m. 10 January 2023, unless lifted earlier.”
The weather department has warned that Hale would dump heavy rains on the North Island, particularly its eastern region.
The emergency department asked residents in the worst-affected areas to remain inside and not drive unless “absolutely necessary.”
It also warned of possible flooding in coastal areas.
The authorities have closed several roads due to the flooding, which also caused power outages across the region.
“Some 830 homes are still without power, access is an issue in some areas,” the emergency department said.
An average of one cyclone a year hits New Zealand. The cyclones usually end with no fatalities or injuries.
One of the strongest cyclones to hit the southern country was El Bola, which, in 1988, left three dead and caused damages worth $82 million. EFE