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Cyclone Hola update #4 - 12 March 4:30pm

(Image: Niwa's tracking of Cyclone Hola.)

The severe weather warning from MetService remains in place for The Coromandel this evening as Cyclone Hola moves slowly down the North Island.

"While the weather hasn't been as bad as expected today, Cyclone Hola is still with us, with heavy rain and high winds still in the forecast tonight," says Julian Snowball, our Thames Valley Emergency Operating Area Controller.

For The Coromandel, another heavy downfall is expected around 8pm this evening and possibly between 11pm and 1am, bringing total accumulation to 70-100mm with peak intensities of 20-30mm per hour.

A strong wind warning remains in place, bringing gusts of 110km/h in exposed places. The strongest winds and heaviest rain associated with Hola are expected to remain offshore.

Cyclone Hola is forecast to move away to the east of New Zealand early Tuesday morning and weather is expected to ease.

High tide has arrived (at 4.11pm) and we are experiencing some surface flooding in low-lying areas across the Coromandel.

"However our high tides are relatively low and we are not expecting anything extreme," Mr Snowball says.

"We are still advising people to drive to the conditions and be prepared for unexpected hazards as they make their way home this evening," he says.

At this stage we have no reports of road closures or power outages.

The NZ Transport Agency says the current weather forecasts indicate there is an increased risk of slips and flooding through to midnight, particularly on the eastern side of The Coromandel.

Check MetService for the latest weather updates.

Be prepared:

• Torches and fresh batteries

• Ample drinking water and emergency food supplies

• An alternative means of cooking source if power is cut

• If your property is in a low-lying area, check if you need to move items to higher ground.

• Put away loose items and tie down trampolines or anything else that could be blown around in strong winds.

NZ Civil Defence has prepared the Get Ready, Get Thru website with lots of information about planning for emergencies. If you get ready, then you can get through.

It's also important to stay informed before, during and after emergencies. The more avenues of communication available to you, the better.

Here are some we recommend:

Check MetService for the latest weather forecasts on this weather system.

Red Cross Hazards App - alerts about hazards. Download from the App Store or Google Play.

Local radio - Check stations and frequencies here.

Emergency Mobile Alert - these can be sent to your mobile phone, without needing to download an app or sign up. Check if your phone is capable of receiving them, here

Know your neighbours - phone each other, especially vulnerable people, to check if they're OK.

Waikato Regional Council has set up an online hub for rainfall and flood-related information to help people more easily keep up to date with severe weather events in the region. It can be found at www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/services/regional-services/regional-hazards-and-emergency-management/flood-room.

We will post regular updates on our Council's Facebook page as well as on our website and email newsletters.

Also follow Waikato Civil Defence on Facebook here and check out their website for updates here.

We'll also include updates on known local Council road closures. If you see a Council road that is impassable due to flooding or a debris, call us on 07 868 0200. If the issue is with a State Highway (eg, the Thames Coast Road, Kopu-Hikuai Road) please tell NZ Transport Agency on 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team who can also provide traffic and travel information.

Check NZTA's website before you travel for the latest information about road closures or work underway. You can also use their journey-planning website www.onthemove.govt.nz to plan the best route for your journey, taking into account known issues and traffic on state highways.

To report a power outage, contact Powerco or your provider.

For more on these channels, and other information about staying informed in emergencies, go to the Civil Defence "Never Happens" website.

© Scoop Media

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