June 4, 2023

Cyclone Gabrielle live: Death toll rises, police have concerns for around 10 missing people, 62,000 without power

Watch: The latest on Cyclone Gabrielle.

The death toll from Cyclone Gabrielle is currently sitting at nine, with that number expected to rise.

Police said there is a small number of around 10 missing people they have “grave concerns” for.

Approximately 62,000 households are still without power with the majority in the Hawke’s Bay and there are almost 5000 people registered as uncontactable, up from just over 4500 on Friday.

Meanwhile, police officers have responded to two incidents in Napier, one of the cities hit hardest by Cyclone Gabrielle.

A spokesperson told Newshub officers took two people into custody after reports of gunshots fired in Pirimai on Thursday.

And, in a separate incident on Friday night, armed police searched for a “person of interest” in Marewa.

“Police will be taking a hard line with anyone acting unlawfully and compounding the suffering of our hard-hit communities,” a police spokesperson told Newshub.

Official Government advice:

  • Put safety first. Don’t take any chances. Act quickly if you see rising water. Floods and flash floods can happen quickly. If you see rising water do not wait for official warnings. Head for higher ground and stay away from floodwater.
  • Do not try to walk, play, swim, or drive in floodwater: even water just 15 centimetres deep can sweep you off your feet, and half a metre of water will carry away most vehicles.
  • If you have evacuated, please stay where you are until you are given the all-clear to go home.
  • If you don’t need to evacuate, support those who do by staying home, staying off roads and staying safe. 
  • If you are not able to contact your whānau in heavily affected areas go to Police 105 website and complete the inquiry form or phone 105 and remember to update if you reconnect through other means.
  • Throw away food and drinking water that has come into contact with floodwater as it is often contaminated and can make you sick.
  • If you are without power eat the food from your fridge first, then your freezer. Then eat the food in the cupboard or your emergency kit.
  • People should stay up to date with the forecasts from MetService and continue to follow the advice of civil defence and emergency services.
  • A National State of Emergency is in place for an initial period of seven days and applies to regions that have declared a local State of Emergency.

What else you need to know:

  • A national state of emergency remains in place
  • Tens of thousands of people across the Far North, Northland, Auckland, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay are without power. Civil Defence says it could be “up to a week” before power is fully restored in Hawke’s Bay
  • Residents in Gisborne and parts of central Hawke’s Bay are being told to urgently conserve water
  • Nine-thousand people are displaced in Hawke’s Bay alone, the Government says.
  • Useful websites:
  • Civil Defence centres and shelters are open in Auckland. A list of where they are is here.
  • If you need help and support during the emergency, visit the Auckland Emergency Management website.
  • For a list of disruptions to services and facilities, visit the Interruptions to Service and Facilities page on the Auckland Council website
  • For the latest on MetService’s weather warnings, click here
  • For more information on power outages in Auckland check here: Vector – https://help.vector.co.nz/map, Counties Energy – http://app.countiespower.com
  • For power in Northland click here or the Far North click here
  • For public transport information visit Auckland Transport here
  • For nationwide road and travel updates visit here
  • To register a person who you have safety concerns for click here.

Follow live updates below. App users – click here for the latest.

5:40pm – Auckland Emergency Management said kerbside collections are back to their normal schedule.

“If you are removing flood-damaged items from your home – please wear rubber gloves, [a] long-sleeved top and trousers, and a face mask,” Auckland Emergency Management (AEM) said on Facebook.

AEM also said to not leave sandbags on the kerbside to be collected.

“Don’t leave sandbags on the kerbside. They will not be collected and could clog up drains causing further floods,” AEM said on Facebook.

5:30pm – Auckland Emergency Management has asked residents in Wellsford, Helensville and Parakai to keep their water usage to a minimum.

“Watercare is working to restore service to these local treatment plants, and is making progress, but the situation has not returned to normal yet,” Auckland Emergency Management said on Facebook.

The water treatment plant in Muriwai is still offline.

5pm – Civil Defence said there are local groups with more information about what help is available to you and provided details about how to get in touch with your group.

“The National Emergency Management Agency is coordinating with the regional Civil Defence groups making sure they are equipped with the tools and information they need to support the communities affected by Cyclone Gabrielle,” Civil Defence tweeted.

You can find your local Civil Defence page here 

4:20pm – Air New Zealand has reduced the cost of travelling to and from the communities hit hardest by Cyclone Gabrielle, with lower fares for all flights into and out of Gisborne and Napier until February 28.

Air New Zealand’s prices on all domestic flights into or out of Gisborne and Napier are: 

  • ‘Seat only’ fares for a flight are $55 one way or $105 if the journey requires two connecting domestic flights
  • Those booking a ‘seat and bag’ will pay $75 one way for a flight or $125 if the journey requires two connecting domestic flights. 

Fares can be booked with immediate effect through to midnight Tuesday February 28 via the Air New Zealand website or your local travel agent.

4:15pm – NIWA said over 837mm has been recorded in Whangārei, 485mm in Napier, and 624mm in Auckland in 2023 so far.

“This is over 60 percent of what Napier and Whangārei would usually expect to get in an entire year.”

3:45pm – Foodstuffs North Island’s IT team and its partners have deployed Starlink kits, satellite-based internet solutions, to help affected stores open for business.

Each Starlink kit consists of a small satellite dish that can be installed on the roof of each supermarket. Once installed, the dishes can connect to the Starlink satellite network, providing internet connection that’s essential for EFTPOS units at the checkouts. 

To date, Foodstuffs North Island has been able to deploy Starlink kits to PAK’nSAVE Gisborne, New World Wairoa, Four Square Wainui Road, Four Square Tokomaru Bay, Four Square Eastern, Four Square Ruatoria and Four Square Waimamaku. 

3:30pm – The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Federated Farmers have restarted the national Feed Coordination Service to help farmers recovering from Cyclone Gabrielle.

The service is being operated by Federated Farmers, with funding support from MPI to assist farmers to source supplementary feed or grazing. The national Feed Coordination Service helps match people with grazing or supplementary feed for sale to those who need it.

The service is also available to farmers in Otago and Southland experiencing extremely dry conditions.

Requests to list or seek grazing or feed can be made online or by phoning 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646).

Feed Coordination Service details:

Phone: 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)

Or register online:

Grazing needed https://arcg.is/0eTPSK0

Grazing available https://arcg.is/OWneD

Feed needed https://arcg.is/11z9mz0

Feed available https://arcg.is/1azj0n

3:00pm – The Royal NZ Air Force dropped supplied to isolated communities in Tutira, north of Napier.

2:35pm – Reminder: Please don’t take waste to the Henderson Rd or Redclyffe Transfer Stations, or the Ōmarunui while they are being repaired.

Hastings District Council is planning to have Henderson Rd Transfer Station open from Monday (once and only if the Ōmarunui Landfill has reopened).

Ōmarunui is never able to be accessed by the public; it is a commercial landfill. Material from the public transfer station is moved to the landfill.​

Hastings residents can drop off waste securely fastened into Council’s official orange rubbish bags, available at New World stores in Flaxmere, Hastings and Havelock North.

2:30pm – A community initiative has been launched to bring generators, pumps and small diggers from around the country into Hawkes Bay as part of the disaster response.  

genLEND was developed at Saint Andrews Church in Hastings as a tangible way for people across the country to help power the recovery of Hawke’s Bay communities ravaged by Cyclone Gabrielle.

“It’s a bit like a toy library.  If you own a bit of gear and can lend it to us for a couple of weeks, then we want to know,” Rev Jill McDonald, Senior Minister at Saint Andrews, said in a statement. 

genLend can arrange the pick-up and delivery, and then return the gear back to owners.

“If you want to come to Hawkes Bay with your equipment and need accommodation, we can help with that too,” Rev Jill said.

Help is also being accepted in the form of donations for fuel, transport and insurance.

People can register their equipment online at: https://www.genlend.co.nz/ 

2:00pm – Photos sent to Newshub show flooding from Cyclone Gabrielle in Wairoa.

1:50pm – Auckland Emergency Management update:

Today is not a day for heading to Auckland’s west coast beaches – visitors must not head to Karekare, Piha, Te Henga Bethells and Muriwai. These beaches and areas of regional parkland are closed to visitors.

“We appreciate that people want to support these communities, see how they can help, or want to visit, but we are asking that people stay away from Karekare, Piha, Te Henga Bethells and Muriwai this weekend,” says duty Controller Adam Maggs.

“We want Aucklanders to stay safe and ensure emergency crews and response teams can access these communities to provide all the support they need.

“There are cordons managing access into these places to keep the public safe and surf lifesavers are not on patrol this weekend.

“Do not attempt to talk your way through a cordon, claiming to be a resident, either – this type of behaviour places undue pressure on communities that are struggling to simply deal with basic needs,” says Adam.

Isolated communities

We continue to assess isolated community needs following the recent weather events.

Several locations have limited, or restricted road access and critical supplies have already been flown in by NZDF and private helicopter companies to communities in Karekare, Piha, Bethells Te Henga, Muriwai, and Kaipara South Head – including food, water, fuel, portaloos, medication and hygiene products.

“As well as being able to provide support into these communities, it enables us to gather further information and assess any emerging issues,” says Mr Maggs.

AEM is continuing to work with government agencies including MSD and MBIE to ascertain the needs of those in the affected areas.

“It’s heartening to witness how far these efforts go to support our neighbours in need – a true testament to the strength of community spirit and we want to remind people that if you know someone who needs support, please reach out to us on 0800 22 22 00,” says Mr Maggs.


The forecast remains on track for fairly settled weather and light winds for Auckland and Aotea Great Barrier Island until Tuesday 21 February. There is a low risk of isolated heavy showers in the west today, including Muriwai and Piha.


  • Around 5,500 homes and businesses remain without power in the Vector supply area. More than 35,000 have been restored since Tuesday afternoon.
  • Around five properties remain without power in the Counties Energy supply area. 
  • Crews are continuing their work today to restore as many properties as possible and it is anticipated all of these should be resolved by then.  
  • Counties Manukau has been affected by more than 1,000 individual faults with 12,500 properties have been without power across the cyclone period. This represents around one quarter of its network.    


  • Watercare is encouraging Aucklanders to use water wisely as the network recovers from the storm and cyclone.


  • An up-to-date list of where you can go to get help and information is on the Auckland Emergency Management website

Rapid building assessments

  • Auckland Council’s Building Consents team is continually assessing affected buildings.
  • The team has issued 193 red placards, 226 yellow placards and 757 white placards relating to Cyclone Gabrielle.
  • This is in addition to the 350 red placards, 1934 yellow placards and 3167 white placards issued following the 27 January storm event, although there may be some overlap with the numbers issued in relation to the cyclone.
  • Anyone with damage to their house, or who has slips close to their property, please contact [email protected]

Cleaning up after the storm

  • Kerbside collections are back to the normal schedule


  • The weather forecast is for mainly fine weather, but please plan ahead of travelling, think about your safety and allow extra time.
  • There are currently about 52 roads across the region that remain closed, and six with partial closures. Go to the Auckland Transport website for more specific information.
  • We urge Aucklanders to help by continuing to stay away from damaged areas. Access to these areas is compromised.

If you have been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and need some help, there are support services available. Our website aem.org.nz has all the information.

1:35pm – The press conference has now finished.

1:33pm – Ball said for people wanting to donate, they should send cash to mayoral relief funds rather than goods.

1:32pm – Dunbier said business carries on as usual for police and they will arrest and prosecute anyone caught looting.

1:30pm – Ball said the number of people seeking accommodation in Civil Defence centres is around 1500 nationally, largest numbers in Hawke’s Bay where its over 1000.

1:28pm – Ball said there are approximately 62,000 households without power, 39,620 were in Hawke’s Bay – however that number has since decreased.

1:25pm – Ball said there are some more international offers of help on the table they are “working through”.

1:22pm – Dunbier said the number of people missing they are concerned for is “small”, around 10, and fluctuates each day.

1:20pm – Dunbier said as of now every body police have found has been notified to the media. Death toll still remains at nine.

1:19pm – Turner said there are 90 search and rescue staff deployed across the North Island today and five more arriving from Australia.

1:17pm – Turner said Australia’s USAR team of eight staff arrived on Friday and the second team is arriving today. Most will go to Hawke’s Bay.

1:15pm – FENZ National Manager Response Capability Paul Turner said 450 trucks responded to over 2000 incidents.

1:13pm – Police Deputy Commissioner Glenn Dunbier said 100 extra police staff are on the ground in the eastern district from all around the country.

More administrative staff are matching up reports of people unaccountable.

As of 9pm Friday, there were 4928 reports of uncontactable people registered and 885 of people registered as safe.

1:12pm – Ball said 700 defence force members, four aircraft, seven helicopters, two ships and 58 trucks are helping reach isolated communities and providing support.

1:10pm – Ball said they have received reports of people being aggressive and threatening workers delivering supplies.

1:09pm – About 24 percent of households in Napier have electricity.

1:06pm – Ball said Civil Defence in Hawke’s Bay is working urgently to reconnect with isolated communities and getting fuel in Wairoa is a priority and should arrive later today.

Cell towers are also a priority. 90 percent of cell towers are operating in Hawke’s Bay, 80 percent in Northland and 30 percent in Gisborne.

1:05pm – NEMA’s Acting Director Emergency Management Roger Ball said he has seen the impact from the cyclone on the ground.

“This is a massive event for New Zealand,” he said.

Nine people have lost their lives and emergency services hold “grave fears” for others, Ball said.

1:00pm – Emergency Management will provide an update on the national response to Cyclone Gabrielle at 1pm, watch it above.

12:10pm – Te Matatini offers koha to kapa haka groups affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. 

As footage unfolds of the devastation that has taken place in Kahungunu and Te Tairāwhiti, and sporadic connectivity resumes, kapa haka adversely affected by the recent weather events have confirmed their aspirations to participate in a festival that promises to raise the spirits of Māoridom.

The Te Matatini Festival Leadership Team is working closely with Air New Zealand, the NZ Police and Emergency Services to get the best advice and support for our kapa haka whose preparations for the festival have been severely impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

In addition to escorted traffic management plans, travel and transport support, Te Matatini has offered a koha of $10,000 to kapa haka most directly affected; Matangirau, Te Rangiura o Wairarapa, Tamatea Arikinui from the Ngāti Kahungunu rohe, Muriwhenua, Hātea, Ngā Manu Mātui, Waerenga Te Kaha from Te Taitokerau, and Waihīrere, Tū Te Manawa Maurea and Whāngārā Mai Tawhiti from Te Tairāwhiti.

Whilst we acknowledge that the response is ongoing and the recovery may take several years, this is one way we can assist kapa haka that have indicated they still want to participate despite these testing times.

“Kei te tūwhera ngā ringaringa, kei te karanga atu te mahau o Te Matatini ki ngā kaihaka o ngā kapa haka katoa. Our mahau is calling, arms outstretched, overflowing with aroha from across Aotearoa, and we will do everything we can to bring our kapa haka safely to Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata,” Chief Executive of Te Matatini Carl Ross said.

Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata 2023 takes place at Ngā Ana Wai Eden Park in Tāmaki Makaurau from 22 February to 25 February 2023.

12:00pm – Air New Zealand update:

  • Nine daily flights to Gisborne and up to 18 services a day to Napier
  • Operated a special assistance flight to Gisborne
  • Added additional fare flexibility for Gisborne and Napier flights
  • Activated a special assistance team to provide impacted staff support

For customers, Air NZ has extended flexibility for those booked to travel to/from Gisborne or Napier between 17 February and 26 February 2023. Customers have until March 5, 2023 to change the date of their flight without a change fee, service fee or fare difference applying.

Customers can also choose to reroute their flight without facing additional charges provided it’s to another domestic destination.

Customers who booked through a travel agent or third-party online agent should contact them directly about making changes to their bookings or credit validity.

Air NZ has also deployed its Emergency Response Special Assistance Team (SAT). The SAT team provides additional care and support to pilots, cabin crew, airport staff or anyone on the ground in impacted regions who need it.

11:35am – Prime Minister Chris Hipkins spoke to Newshub Nation from Cyclone Gabrielle-hit Hawke’s Bay.

“This is undoubtedly the biggest natural disaster we’ve seen this century,” he said.

Watch the full interview here.

11:30am – Counties Energy Update:

There are currently five properties without power in the Counties Energy region which remain from damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.  Crews are continuing their work today to restore these as quickly and safely as they can.  The region has been affected by more than 1000 individual faults with 12,500 properties without power across the cyclone period – around one quarter of our network.  All outages from Cyclone Gabrielle should be restored today, aside from a complex rebuild in the south of the region affecting one property. We thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we work as quickly and safely as possible to restore these final properties.  

For those on the Awhitu Peninsula and western areas of the network – we are currently surveying the network via plane today as part of a planned aerial LIDAR survey of our electricity network.  This has been advertised in local papers.  Please be assured this is a planned survey and not a search operation.

We’re reminding customers who may be returning home after being stranded overseas or in other parts of the country from Cyclone Gabrielle, to please be vigilant around downed lines.  If you see a downed line – stay well clear (at least a bus length away) and call us immediately on 0800 100 202.  

11:25am – Civil Defence is expecting more landslides as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle.

Land can move at any time, especially if ground has been damaged, have experience heavy rain, or after an earthquake.

Here’s Civil Defence’s tips on what to look out for so you can stay safe around landslides:

  • Homes near hills or steep slopes most at risk – so if that’s where you live, watch out for cracks or movement that could be a warning sign, and get quickly to safety 
  • Look out for, small slips, rock falls and subsidence at the bottom of slopes. 
  • Be alert when driving, especially where there are embankments along the roads. 

𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀𝗹𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗻, 𝗚𝗘𝗧 𝗢𝗨𝗧 𝗢𝗙 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗣𝗔𝗧𝗛 𝗤𝗨𝗜𝗖𝗞𝗟𝗬.

Evacuate if your home or the building you are in is in danger — take your grab bag and pets with you if you can do so quickly.

Here’s Civil Defence’s tips on what you should do after a landslide:

  • Stay alert for future landslides
  • Stay away from the landslide area until it has been properly inspected and authorities give the all clear
  • Do not do anything that puts your safety at risk or causes more damage to your property

New Zealand public can report landslides at any time – email [email protected] with the date, location and size of the landslide, and any photos. 

For more information on how to get ready head to:  https://getready.govt.nz/en/emergency/landslides/

11:00am – Farmers and growers sector groups contact list provided by MPI:



Phone: 0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 4 324 7969)

Email: [email protected]

Beef and Lamb New Zealand


Phone: 0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 233 352)

Email: [email protected]

Federated Farmers of New Zealand


Phone: 0800 327 646

Horticulture New Zealand – Ahumāra Kai Aotearoa


Phone: +64 4 472 3795

Email: [email protected]

Ministry for Primary Industries


Phone: 0800 00 83 33

Email: [email protected]

These organisations can also provide help and support:

Mental Health Foundation




Phone: 0800 111 757 Text: 4202



Email: [email protected]

10:45am – AA Insurance said they have received more than 1900 claims associated with Cyclone Gabrielle and with many communities still cut off, this number is expected to surge as people are reconnected in the coming days.

“We want to remind Kiwis that there is no rush to make a claim if they are unable to reach us – the health and safety of themselves, family and pets must always come first,” AA Insurance general manager operations Simon Hobbs said in a statement.

“As soon as they are able to get in touch, our teams will be ready to help with emergency repairs, temporary accommodation and advice for getting the claims lodgement process started.”

The combined total of AA Insurance’s claims for Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland Anniversary Floods is projected to result in the largest weather event in the company’s history.

AA Insurance will have a presence at the Civil Defence hubs on Sunday 19 and Monday 20 February to assist customers and community members with queries and to connect them with claims support.

NAPIER – Centennial Hall, Vigor Brown St: Sunday 19 and Monday 20 February

HASTINGS – Hastings Sports Centre, Railway Rd: Sunday 19 and Monday 20 February from 9am – 5pm

To lodge a claim online: www.aainsurance.co.nz

10:15am – Police are investigating a death in the Hawke’s Bay region.

The person is believed to have died in circumstances related to Cyclone Gabrielle, bringing the death toll to nine.

Further details will be provided when they become available.

10:00am – Police officers have responded to two incidents in Napier, one of the cities hit hardest by Cyclone Gabrielle.

A police spokesperson told Newshub they received a report of shots fired in Pirimai, Napier about 4:30pm on Thursday.

Armed police responded to the incident as a precaution.

The spokesperson said two people have been taken into custody and charges are being considered.

There were no reports of injuries.

“Police will be taking a hard line with anyone acting unlawfully and compounding the suffering of our hard-hit communities,” the spokesperson said.

In Marewa, meanwhile, officers were working to find a “person of interest” on Friday night.

The spokesperson said the armed offenders squad was attending as a precaution.

They were not located and cordons were stood down.

9:45am – A Givealittle page set up by the Muriwai Fire Brigade is raising funds for fallen firefighters and heroes David Van Zwanenberg and Craig Stevens. The pair died while helping their community during the cyclone.

To read more and for information on how to donate click here.

9:30am – Muriwai Volunteer Fire Brigade has put out a plea for long-term accommodation for displaced firefighters.

“We have a number of crew who need long term accommodation within Muriwai so we can remain operational and continue to serve the community,” Muriwai Volunteer Fire Brigade said in a Facebook post.

“If you have rentals available in Waitea, Edwin Mitchelson or Ngatira Roads please contact Taina on 027 537 9222.” 

9:10am – As power is being restored to Hawke’s Bay, Emergency Management is reminding people to ensure cooking appliances are turned off.

Ovens, stovetops and other cooking appliances that were running when the power went off could turn back on soon – which is a serious fire hazard.

8:50am – About 5500 Auckland homes and businesses remain without electricity, power authority Vector says.

“We have around 1000 people working on repairing the network and we will continue this effort to the get the power back on for all Aucklanders as quickly as we can,” Vector said in a statement on Saturday morning.

“We’re continuing to work closely with other authorities around accessing parts of the network badly impacted by existing slips and ground conditions, and areas where new access issues are still appearing. This is a significant factor in getting through repairs quickly and safely.

“Unfortunately, we are still finding that some outages involve multiple issues which we do not discover until work starts, which makes restoration times challenging and changeable in some cases.”

8:30am – Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty will provide the latest on what happens next after Cyclone Gabrielle, in separate interviews on Newshub Nation at 9:30am. You can watch that live here or on Three and ThreeNow.

8am – Below you can see the fibre optic cable between East Cape and Gisborne that’s been left draped over trees and farmland due to damage caused to the road.

7:30am – Newshub’s Alexa Cook flew into Gisborne’s Te Huia Springs on Friday.

The hospital there with elderly patients still has no power or interent and is relying on a generator that’s quickly running out fuel.

With a population of about 1400, Cook says the community feels frustrated and forgotten about.

She’ll have more on that on Newshub Live at 6pm.

7am – Civil Defence says a key freight link into Napier – the Hawke’s Bay Expressway between Bayview and Pakipaki (State Highway 2) is now open.

“Please be considerate and delay your travel if you can – we need to keep the road clear for critical lifelines and infrastructure to support our region,” Hawke’s Bay Emergency Management said.

“Temporary speed restrictions remain in place for some sections.”

6:30am – Below is an overnight update from the police:

Police continue to pour staff and resources into the Eastern District to assist local staff responding to Cyclone Gabrielle.

In addition to approximately 100 extra staff, police have deployed the police air support Unit (known as Eagle helicopter) along with 12 4×4 utes and 10 other Police vehicles.

Police SAR teams are working to determine which homes have not yet been assessed and who is still cut off in remote areas of the East Coast. Police staff are also assisting health teams to conduct welfare checks on people with acute needs. Police have set up a specialist team to reconcile reports of uncontactable people in Cyclone Gabrielle with those who have reported themselves safe.

This includes cross referencing with people reported safe through evacuation centres, and in person reports to police stations.

There have been 80 police staff members working on this today, and this number will extend to 100 in the next few days. The priority for [olice is to filter out duplicate reports made of uncontactable people, reconcile those reports with those who have reported themselves as safe, and prioritise this information for district staff on the ground. This will help police staff and other agencies identify those most in need of a welfare check.

Communications in areas most affected by Cyclone Gabrielle are slowly coming back on, and we are urging people who have not yet reported themselves as safe to do so as soon as possible via the Registering I’m Alive online form, here.

Anyone who has not yet been able to contact someone following the cyclone is also encouraged to make a Person Inquired For report, here

People who have now been in touch with someone previously reported uncontactable are now urged to update their report via the same link, so we can prioritise those who need the most urgent checks.

As of 2pm today, there have been 4549 reports of uncontactable people registered and 872 reports from people registering that they are safe.

Police continue to have serious concerns for several people.

Eight people have been confirmed dead following Cyclone Gabrielle.

This includes two people confirmed dead today, in Waiohiki and Puketapu.

As with any significant event of this nature, it is standard practice for emergency and responding services to give consideration to how best to deal with casualties or fatalities.

Temporary facilities have been set up at the port in Napier and Hawke’s Bay Hospital in Hastings.

The facilities have been established as a precaution to ensure that any fatalities can be managed with care and respect, and in accordance with coronial processes. They are held there before being taken to a mortuary.

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