10 things New Zealanders should know about ex-Tropical Cyclone Gita


New Zealand last week announced aid packages to Tonga, Samoa and Fiji, which all felt the cyclone's impact, including funding for the recovery and deliveries of emergency supplies.

Heavy rain will cause slips, rapidly rising streams and rivers, and flooding.

West Coast Regional Council chief executive Mike Meehan said there were a "few things" they could get under way already, but today would provide a better picture of how the storm was likely to hit. There is also a high confidence in heavy rain for the far south of the North Island including Manawatu to Wellington and Wairarapa.

On Tuesday and Wednesday there is a high confidence in severe gales over Westland, the Canterbury high country, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough, Wellington, Kapiti, Wairarapa and Taranaki.

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The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management has advised people to secure, or move inside, anything that could cause damage in strong winds, as well as closing doors and windows and curtains to prevent injury from breaking windows.

Cold air being dragged northwards could cause unseasonably low levels of snow in the Canterbury High Country on Tuesday.

"This means preparing for the possibility of power cuts, water outages and roadclosures that could leave you or your loved ones stranded". Rivers are also likely to rise quickly in some areas.

Marlborough Civil Defence says there's a heavy rain warning from 10am to 10pm Tuesday when 150 to 200mm of rain around higher ground and lesser amounts elsewhere is expected.

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Stay inside and bring your pets inside.

Cyclone Gita, now over the North Tasman Sea, is forecast to affect the West Coast overnight tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday.

All schools and early childhood centres in the Buller District will be closed tomorrow and Wednesday as a safety precaution, said Civil Defence. As of early Monday morning 12 February 2018, the system intensified to a Category 4 when it crossed Tonga during the night between February 12 and 13.

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