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Emergency declared in Taranaki region

Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Management Group
Media Release
For immediate release

Event: Ex Cyclone Gita
Media release no: 1
Date/Time: 20 February, 8pm

Emergency declared in Taranaki region

Description of situation

• A state of emergency was declared in the Taranaki region at 7.50pm today due to high winds affecting roads and essential services, including power and water supplies, as Ex Cyclone Gita tracks across the country.
• Nearly 23,000 Taranaki properties were without power at 6.20pm. Some may be without power overnight and into tomorrow.
• The pipeline from the New Plymouth water treatment station to the Mangorei Reservoir has been ruptured by a falling tree. Residents in eastern parts of New Plymouth District – New Plymouth, Bell Block, Waitara, Tikorangi, Onaero and Urenui – are urged to conserve water and use only the bare minimum.
• Fallen trees and traffic accidents are disrupting traffic flows on number of highways and local roads.

Declaration status
• A state of emergency has been declared. It was signed by the New Plymouth District Mayor, Neil Holdom, on behalf of the Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Group.

What’s being done?
• The Taranaki Emergency Coordination Centre is supporting emergency services and utility providers responding to the storm.

Public safety/health instructions
• Phone 111 if life is at risk.
• Do not travel unless absolutely necessary. Stay home and keep safe.
• Conserve water, especially residents in New Plymouth District.
• If your power is out, be prepared for a lengthy wait before it is restored.
• Keep an eye on the Facebook and Twitter feeds of Taranaki Civil Defence, Powerco, NZTA and your local district council.
• Treat all downed powerlines as live. Do not go near them.

Important information
• Gust of up to 140kmh in South Taranaki and 120kmh in North Taranaki are expected to continue until 1am, after which time winds should gradually ease.
• However, the effects of the storm will be felt well into tomorrow and beyond, due the scale of damage to infrastructure.
• The effect of storm swells on vulnerable coastal communities is being monitored.

Authorised by
• Brent Manning, Taranaki CDEM Group Controller

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