Cyclone Gita: West Coast prepares for the second former tropical cyclone in three weeks
West Coast authorities will decide this evening about declaring states of emergency as the second former tropical cyclone in three weeks bears down on the region.
Ex-tropical Cyclone Gita is forecast to strike the west coast of the country from tomorrow afternoon bringing wind gusts of over 150km/h in places, heavy rain and northwest swells of 8 to 9 metres.
Metservice meteorologist Nick Zachar said this morning’s tracking update showed the brunt of the storm approaching from the top of the South Island, from Westport through to Farewell Spit.
West Coast mayors and officials will meet today at 5pm in Greymouth with Civil Defence staff to discuss the latest weather predictions and necessary actions.
Grey District mayor Tony Kokshoorn said they were still recovering from the impacts of ex-Tropical Cyclone Fehi, which struck at the beginning of February, and the strong wind gusts coming with Gita posed a real danger.
“At the meeting tonight we will make a call about whether or not we need to declare a state of emergency, or a partial one, in advance.”
The current predictions were similar to Cyclone Ita, the remnants of which struck New Zealand in April 2014 bringing winds of 130km/h in places, cutting power, and leaving 39 homes in the Grey District uninhabitable.
“The gusts then ripped roofs off houses, and the gusts with Gita are predicted to be similar and hang around for 36 hours,” Kokshoorn said.
“The easterlies, as predicted, come off the alps and pick up enormous speed.
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