Published: Wed, February 21, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Flights cancelled in New Zealand

Flights cancelled in New Zealand

On Feb. 20, there was a state of emergency declared in the Buller, Grey, Westland, Nelson/Tasman and Christchurch regions.

New Zealand's defence force has been deployed as the country endures a battering from the remains of Cyclone Gita.

Nearly 200 schools were shut, and New Zealand's national airline cancelled all flights to and from the capital, Wellington.

Thousands of homes were without power Tuesday, and residents in Christchurch were asked to limit water consumption in light of the heavy rainfall overwhelming the city's wastewater system.

Garry Howard, mayor of Buller, said the storm is expected to hit the district tonight (local time) - it is now 9pm in New Zealand, as the country is 13 hours ahead of GMT. It was the worst cyclone to hit the country in 60 years, destroying or damaging an estimated 1400 houses.

NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Southern Pacific Ocean and saw the low pressure area previously known as Tropical Cyclone Gita, affecting New Zealand.

"The full impact of the storm will be felt overnight and tomorrow morning", Lianne Dalziel, Christchurch Mayor said on Tuesday.

'We are expecting homes to be flooded'.

Residents were told to expect floods and winds of up to 150km/h (90mph).

The nation's parliament was destroyed by the storm, which caused extensive damage across the archipelago.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said earlier that troops had also been sent out to areas that were likely to be hardest hit by the storm.

Major General Tim Gall, Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said military personnel had been assigned to work with all regional emergency operation centres in areas affected by the cyclone, which has since been downgraded to an ex-cyclone.

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