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RNZ News

The extent of devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle in Aotearoa New Zealand is still unfolding with vast areas of the North Island flooded, at least 2500 evacuated and Wairoa cut off by phone and road.

Power is now mostly back on in the northern Hawke’s Bay town but its 8000 residents have no phone service, only one day’s worth of food and enough drinking water for two days, after the Wairoa River burst its banks.

Wairoa District Council is communicating with the outside world via satellite.

An air force plane will fly over the town today to assess the damage.

A woman died overnight in Putorino, in northern Hawke’s Bay after a bank collapsed onto her home, Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence said.

Thousands of people are out of their homes in other areas from Tairāwhiti to Hawke’s Bay and Tararua on the eastern coast, and Dargaville, Muriwai, Piha and Karekare in the west.

MetService said heavy rain would continue to hit central New Zealand until Thursday with high waves along the east coast.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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