Warnings remain in place for Bay of Plenty region as tornado bypass Auckland but is expected over South Island on Friday
Cyclone Cook has struck New Zealand with ability outages, fallen trees and avalanches reported around much of the central and east North Island, which stood the brunt of the storm.
Cook, which forecasters feared “couldve been” the most difficult whirlwind to strike New Zealand in decades, manufactured landfall just after 6pm local day but by then many coastal villages were vacated as five-metre grows combined with high tide and smashed against the deserted shoreline.
Although a few rogue spectators gallanted the elements to gape at the furiou surf, most tenants seemed to heed civil excuse notifications and had moved to higher sand hours before.
Schools and roles closed in Auckland at about lunchtime as civil defense staff counselled occupants to leave the city immediately and remain at home.
Extra public transport was laid on for the thousands of parties escaping the city. By late afternoon, however, the MetService said Cook had just bypassed New Zealands largest and most populated municipality, and the weather forewarn was dropped.
Further south in the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty regions, capability abides out in tens of thousands of homes, and gale-force jazzs have been reported.
Last week, the tail-end of cyclone Debbie destroyed the Bay of Plenty town of Edgecumbe, pushing its 2,000 occupants to abscond with only a few minutes warning.
Although flooding on Thursday was less severe than anticipated, hundreds of trees have descended, and police said numerous roads had been closed in the North Island.
Many rural communities on the east coast have prepared to be lop off for up to three days, and have laid in plies of emergency meat and survival gear to wait out the tornado. Helicopters and disaster crews would set out at first light to check on isolated farms and communities, civil apology said.
States of emergency remain in place in Bay of Plenty and Thames-Coromandel, with the defence force assisting in moving residents to higher dirt and remaining people away from the coast.