Affected areas should prepare for severe weather

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MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Affected areas should prepare for severe weather

Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye says communities in the northeast of the North Island from Cape Reinga to Hawkes Bay, and outer islands such as the Chatham Islands, should make sure they’re prepared for the possible impact of Cyclone Pam.

“I’ve been advised that New Zealand is not in the cyclone’s direct path, but we’re still likely to experience severe weather in affected areas as it passes by.

“Other areas may also experience effects such as increased sea swells.

“Our thoughts are with those in countries such as Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands, which have been badly affected by the cyclone.

“New Zealand is providing appropriate assistance to our Pacific neighbours.

“Later today, I have a conference call with local Civil Defence controllers in relevant areas of New Zealand. I’m also receiving regular briefings from appropriate groups and agencies about our preparedness and the cyclone’s likely impact.

“Although I’m advised that Pam is losing strength as it heads south, MetService has forecast severe rain and wind in affected areas.

“Local councils and civil defence teams have spent the last few days informing communities and working with relevant agencies to prepare for potential severe weather.

“My message to New Zealanders living in affected areas is to make sure you have good preparations in place.

“This means having enough food and water and an emergency kit on hand. Also, secure outside objects that could blow around in high winds.

“I also encourage people to keep up to date with official weather forecasts from MetService.

“We are treating this event seriously. Although we’re not on the direct path of this weakening cyclone, we are still likely to experience severe weather in affected areas.”

Full details on how to prepare for and get through storms can be found at www.getthru.govt.nz

Official weather updates are available at www.metservice.com

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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