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NASA sees ex-Tropical Cyclone Gita affecting New Zealand

21 February 2018

Dozens of schools across the country have been closed and power outages are reported throughout thousands of homes.

A state of emergency has been declared in seven provinces including Taranaki, Nelson Tasman, Westland and Christchurch.

New Zealand's Christchurch and two other districts declared a state of emergency Tuesday as the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Gita slammed into the South Island.

Air New Zealand grounded all flights from Wellington from 2.45pm (0145 GMT) as weather authorities issued warnings of severe weather and heavy rain and gusts of up to 93 miles per hour.

"The full impact of the storm will be felt overnight and tomorrow morning", said Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel. "We are expecting homes to be flooded". The cyclone also hit Fiji, Samoa and American Samoa.

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However, the storm has downgraded significantly, though residents have been told to brace for floods and winds of up to 150km/h.

India in contributing $1 million for relief efforts in the Pacific Ocean Kingdom of Tonga that was devastated by Cyclone Gita last week, according to the UN.

Air New Zealand has cancelled numerous outgoing flights due to the threat posed by ex-cyclone Gita.

"Even though the deep low pressure system moves away from us early on Wednesday, the effects of Gita will last a few more days, with further rain likely about central New Zealand until Thursday", said Lisa Murray at MetService in Wellington.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "My message, still, to people is please look out for your local warnings and expect disruption to travel and please just be careful".

NASA sees ex-Tropical Cyclone Gita affecting New Zealand