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Waikato Civil Defence prepares for Cyclone Lusi

11.30 hours 14 March 2014

Waikato Civil Defence prepares as formal severe weather warning issued for Lusi

Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group is continuing to closely monitor the approaching Cyclone Lusi and is taking all necessary preparatory steps after MetService upgraded its alert for the weekend to a formal severe weather warning.

The Group Emergency Coordination Centre in Hamilton is activated in monitoring mode and will be staffed 24 hours a day over the weekend. Two staff will be on duty at all times, with other staff on standby to come on duty if the situation warrants.

Heavy rain (between 100 millimetres and 120mm) is now confirmed for the Coromandel Peninsula from early Saturday morning through to early Sunday morning.

Strong winds gusting to 130 kilometres per hour are also expected for the Coromandel Peninsula and Kaimai Ranges from Saturday morning to late Saturday evening.

There is also a severe weather watch in place for the Central Plateau for strong winds.

The remainder of the Waikato Region is expected to be affected by strong winds and heavy rain. However, at this stage, these impacts are not expected to reach warning criteria.

“This scenario means there may be some localised rain-related issues, such as local flooding and slips, but the main risks will be from wind, particularly across eastern Waikato, including the Coromandel Peninsula and the Kaimai Ranges,” said group controller Lee Hazlewood. “Rough seas will also be an issue to look out for along the eastern coastline.”

It is important for the public to stay up to date with the latest weather forecasts and be aware of potential hazards such as river and coastal flooding, slips, road flooding and closures, power failures and phone outages. People are advised to secure any loose property that can be blown about by the wind. Clear house guttering. Avoid unnecessary travel.

If there is an emergency, people are advised to call 111. People with local Civil Defence-related queries are advised to check with their local councils.

Waikato Regional Council's coastal harbourmasters have been busy securing vessel moorings and looking for potential hazards ahead of Cyclone Lusi. Boaties are also advised to do their own mooring checks if possible and it is safe to do so. Anyone considering heading out on to the water is advised to check marine forecasts in their area carefully before doing so, and also while they are on the water.

• You can keep up to date with the latest information by visiting our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/WaikatoCivilDefence or checking out our website at www.waikatoregioncdemg.govt.nz.
• Follow us on Twitter @civildefencewkt

ENDS

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