Cyclone Gita Information

West Coast Emergency

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Update #9, 11.30am 21.02.18

Latest update from the Westland District Council Emergency Operations Centre

Westland Civil Defence has LIFTED the Declaration of State of Emergency as of 9.00 am today

John Canning, Local Controller has advised that Westland EOC has now been reduced in size to a minimum team of volunteers.  We have now moved to a recovery phase where we are assessing damage and checking on infrastructure, including roading and power.  A helicopter flight left Hokitika at 8.00 am to check on the District.

The State Highway roading status is as follows:

  • Kumara to Jacksons is closed and will be reviewed at 12 noon. A detour is available via Moana/Lake Brunner.
  • Hokitika to Fox Glacier is OPEN.
  • Fox Glacier to Haast is OPEN. 
  • Haast to Makarora is OPEN.

Any further updates will be provided on the Westland District Council face book page and Westland District Council website

If you need help, please contact Westland District Council on 0800 474 834

Update #8, 9.45am 21.02.18

Latest update from the Westland District Council Emergency Operations Centre

Westland Civil Defence has LIFTED the Declaration of State of Emergency as of 9.00 am today.

Local Controller John Canning advises that we have now moved to a recovery phase where we are assessing damage and checking on infrastructure, including roading and power.  A helicopter flight left Hokitika at 8.00 am to check on the District.

The State Highway roading status is as follows:

  • Kumara to Jacksons is closed and will be reviewed at 12 noon. A detour is available via Moana/Lake Brunner.
  • Hokitika to Fox Glacier is OPEN.
  • Fox Glacier to Haast remains closed.  This situation will be reviewed at 12 noon and further updates will be provided as they are received.
  • Haast to Makarora is open.

The road to Sunset Point is now OPEN.

Please check on neighbours and family members.

Storm damage has been reported at Hari Hari and Whataroa.

Updates will be provided on the Westland District Council face book page and Westland District Council website

We strongly encourage all members of our communities to keep up to date with the latest developments regarding this very significant weather system which can be found at http://www.metservice.com/warnings/severe-weather-warnings.

If you need help, please contact Westland District Council on 0800 474 834

Update #7, 8.45am 21.02.18

Latest update from the Westland District Council Emergency Operations Centre at 8.30 am this morning. The EOC will remain fully staffed for the duration of the event 
A meeting was held at 8.00 am today with all relevant EOC staff, emergency services and support agencies.
A further meeting will be held at 11.00 am and an update on the current situation provided thereafter.
Prepositioning of equipment and staff across the Westland District has been completed.
The State Highway roading status is as follows:
• Hokitika to Fox Glacier will be opened at 9.00 am.
• Fox Glacier to Haast remains closed. This situation will be reviewed at 9.00 am and further updates provided as they are received.
• Haast to Makarora is already open.

We expect high tide to be at 3.28 pm. 
The road to Sunset Point is being reopened this morning.
Please check on neighbours and family members.
Storm damage has been reported at Hari Hari and Whataroa.
Updates will be on the Westland District Council face book page and Westland District Council website 
We strongly encourage all members of our communities to keep up to date with the latest developments regarding this very significant weather system which can be found at http://www.metservice.com/warnings/severe-weather-warnings.

If you need help, please contact Westland District Council on 0800 474 834

Update #6, 11.30pm 20.02.18

Westland District Council Emergency Operations Centre declared a State of Emergency in the Westland District as of 19:00 20-02-18.

Severe wind gusts overnight and danger to motorists was the reason given for the declaration by Westland civil defence controller Simon Bastion. 

A meeting was held at 10.30pm tonight with all relevant EOC staff, emergency services and support agencies.

A further update meeting will be held tomorrow morning at 8.00am.

State Highway 6 Hokitika to Makarora Closed. Update at 9 am tomorrow morning.

State Highway 73 Jacksons to Kumara Junction Closed. Update at 9 am tomorrow morning.  

Whataroa We have reports of trees down and damage to buildings. 

25 Tourists are in a welfare centre in the Whataroa hall, 42 Tourists in 2 buses are spending the night secure on their buses with access to toilet facilities and water. 

Haast 30 tourists are in a welfare centre in the Haast hall.

Approx 100 Tourists secure in place in welfare centre of busses for the night in South Westland Franz Josef and Fox Glacier townships. 

Please avoid all travel unless extremely urgent. 

Power is currently off in Kokatahi and Paringa and won’t be restored until tomorrow.

Power is intermittent in other places so please treat all power lines as live at all times. 

Hokitika Airport is closed for tonight, please check the Air New Zealand website for flight details tomorrow morning. 

Gale force Southeast winds are currently hitting South Westland from Hari Hari to Fox Glacier and Haast. 

These winds are very damaging and all precautions should be taken to secure loose iron and awnings etc. 

We expect the next high tide to be at 3.09am tomorrow morning with peak wave events up to 4.5-5m. Encourage everyone to steer clear of coast lines over the next 12 hours.

WDC have closed Sunset Point until the event has passed.

Please check on neighbours and family members.

Updates will be on the Westland District Council face book page and Westland District Council website.

If you need help contact Westland District Council on 0800474834 

 

Update #5, 7.30pm 20.02.18

Westland District Council Emergency Operations Centre has declared a State of Emergency in the Westland District as of 19:00 20-02-18

Severe wind gusts overnight and danger to motorists was the reason given for the declaration by Westland Civil Defence Controller, Simon Bastion.  

A meeting was held at 7pm tonight with all relevant EOC staff, emergency services and support agencies. A further update meeting will be held tonight at 22:30 

State Highway 6 Hokitika to Makarora Closed. update at 9 am tomorrow morning 

State Highway 73 Jacksons to Kumara Junction Closed. Update 9am tomorrow morning 

A reception centre has been set up in the Franz Josef medical centre to assist tourists with accommodation for the evening. 

We have reports of trees down and damage to buildings. Please avoid all travel unless extremely urgent 

Hokitika Airport is closed for tonight, please check the Air New Zealand website for flight details tomorrow morning. 

Power is currently intermittent so please treat all power lines as live at all times. 

The storm is expected to intensity from 6pm and last for at least 12 hours with the wind intensity significant from 4pm through to 10pm. Gale force Southeast winds are currently hitting South Westland from  Hari Hari to Fox Glacier  These winds are very damaging and all precautions should be taken to secure loose iron and awnings etc.  Rain fall totals are expected to be in the range of 90mm to 120mm.

We expect the next high tide to be at 3.09am tomorrow morning with peak wave events up to 4.5-5m. Encourage everyone to steer clear of coast lines over the next 12 hours.

WDC have closed Sunset Point until the event has passed. Please check on neighbours and family members. 

Updates will be on the Westland District Council face book page and Westland District Council website. If you need help contact Westland District Council on 0800474834 

Road Update, 7.00pm 20.02.18

Please be aware the NZTA website has a technical issue and isn't updating the latest road closures. 
These road closures are official.

Road closed SH 6 Hokitika to Makarora – Due to Strong Winds
Update 9am Wednesday 21 Feb

Road closed SH 73 Jacksons to Kumara Junction – Due to Stong Winds
Update 9am Wednesday 21 Feb

Update #4, 6.00pm 20.02.18

Westland District Council Emergency Operations Centre activated this morning at 11 am, The EOC will remain fully staffed for the duration of the event. 

A meeting was held at 4pm today with all relevant EOC staff, emergency services and support agencies. A further update meeting will be held at 7pm. 

State Highway 6 is closed from Hokitika to Franz Josef, update at 9 am tomorrow Morning. 

A reception centre has been set up in the Franz Josef medical centre to assist tourists with accommodation for the evening.  SH 6 Franz Josef to Haast Open - Care required by caravans, campervans, high sided vehicles and motorbikes. Wind strong especially around river valleys. Please avoid all travel unless extremely urgent 

Hokitika Airport is closed for tonight, please check the Air New Zealand website for flight details tomorrow morning. 

Power is currently intermittent so please treat all power lines as live at all times. 

The storm is expected to intensity from 6pm and last for at least 12 hours with the wind intensity significant from 4pm through to 10pm. Gale force Southeast winds are currently hitting South Westland esp Hari Hari and Whataroa.  These winds can be very damaging and all precautions should be taken to secure loose iron and awnings etc. 

Prepositioning of equipment and staff across the Westland District has been completed and all are on standby. 

Rain fall totals are expected to be in the range of 90mm to 120mm. We expect the next high tide to be at 3.09am tomorrow morning with peak wave events up to 4.5-5m. Encourage everyone to steer clear of coast lines over the next 12 hours. WDC have closed Sunset Point until the event has passed.

Please check on neighbours and family members. 
Updates will be on the Westland District Council face book page and Westland District Council website.

If you need help contact Westland District Council on 0800474834 

Update #3, 1.00pm 20.02.18

Westland District Council Emergency Operations Centre has been activated this morning from 11 am, The EOC will remain fully staffed for the duration of the event

A meeting was held at midday today with all relevant EOC staff, emergency services and support agencies.

A further update will be held at 4 pm

The storm is expected to hit from 1pm today and intensity to last for at least 12 hours with the wind intensity significant from 4pm through to 10pm.

Residents are urged to prepare for gale force Southeast winds (up to 150km/per/hour) particularly South Westland.

These winds can be very damaging and all precautions should be taken to secure loose iron and awnings etc. and limit any travel on roads from 1pm this afternoon

Prepositioning of equipment and staff across the Westland district has been completed and all are on standby.

Rain fall totals are expected to be in the range of 90mm to 120mm

We expect high tide to be at 2:45pm this afternoon and again at 3.09am tomorrow morning with peak wave events up to 4.5-5m. Encourage everyone to steer clear of coast lines over the next 12 hours. WDC have closed Sunset Point until the event has passed.

Please check on neighbours and family members.

Updates will be on the Westland District Council face book page and Westland District Council website

If you need help contact Westland District Council on 0800474834

Update #2, 9.00am 20.02.18

Westland District Council will be activating its Emergency Operations Centre this morning from 11 am, The EOC will remain fully staffed for the duration of the event

A meeting was held at 8 am today with all relevant EOC staff, emergency services and support agencies. A further update will be held at 12 pm.

The storm is expected to hit from 1pm today and intensity to last for at least 12 hours 

Residents are urged to prepare for gale force Southeast winds (up to 150km/per/hour). These winds can be very damaging and all precautions should be taken to secure loose iron and awnings etc

Prepositioning of equipment and staff across the Westland district is underway.

Rain fall totals are expected to be in the range of 90mm to 120mm

Please check on neighbours and family members.

If you need help contact Westland District Council on 0800 474 834

We strongly encourage all members of our communities to keep up to date with the latest developments regarding this very significant weather system which can be found at http://www.metservice.com/warnings/severe-weather-warnings.

The Westland district council has been liaising with all relevant agencies. Staff will also continue to monitor the situation for any further developments. It is anticipated that the effects of the remains of this weather system will be very significant and may be comparable to the recent Fehi event. It is important the risks posed by this approaching storm are not underestimated.

Update #1, 5.00pm 19.02.18

Westland District Council has placed its Emergency Operations Centre on standby in preparation for cyclone Gita. A meeting was held at 1.30pm today with all relevant EOC staff, emergency services and support agencies. Prepositioning of equipment and staff across the Westland district is underway. Residents are advised to ring the Council on 0800 474 834 if they require any filled sandbags. The sandbags (at this stage) can be delivered to people to place themselves.
 
Westland District Council EOC along with all the relevant emergency services and support agencies will meet again at 8am tomorrow morning. The Mayors of Westland, Grey and Buller District Council’s along with the Chairman of the West Coast Regional Council will meet today at 5.00 pm to review the latest weather predictions and modelling.
We strongly encourage all members of our communities to keep up to date with the latest developments regarding this very significant weather system which can be found at http://www.metservice.com/warnings/severe-weather-warnings.
 
The Westland District Council has been liaising and relevant agencies today. Staff will also continue to monitor the situation for any further developments. It is anticipated that the effects of the remains of this weather system will be very significant and may be comparable to the recent Fehi event. It is important the risks posed by this approaching storm are not underestimated.
 
What you can do:
We strongly recommend that people start to take some preparedness measures for themselves and their property if they have not already done so:
  • Stay informed on weather updates. Listen to your local radio stations; check Facebook pages as civil defence authorities will be updating the most appropriate advice for your community and situation.
  • Put your household emergency plan into action and check your getaway kit in case you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Secure, or move indoors, all items that could get blown about and cause harm in strong winds. Turn trampolines upside down and tie them down.
  • Close windows, external and internal doors. Pull curtains and drapes over unprotected glass areas to prevent injury from shattered or flying glass.
  • If the wind becomes destructive, stay away from doors and windows and shelter further inside the house.
  • Water supplies can be affected so it is a good idea to store drinking water in containers and fill bathtubs and sinks with water.
  • Don't walk around outside and avoid driving unless absolutely necessary.
  • Power cuts are possible in severe weather. Unplug small appliances which may be affected by electrical power surges. If power is lost unplug major appliances to reduce the power surge and possible damage when power is restored.
  • Bring pets inside. Move stock to shelter. If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you.
 
The West Coast DHB advise patients to 
  • Please ring your GP on Tuesday and Wednesday to check if any appointments will be happening. 
  • Avoid any unnecessary travel. 
  • For any urgent care, please ring the clinics and calls will be answered. Make sure you look after yourselves, family and neighbours and have your emergency kits and plans ready. 

 

Local Schools:
Westland District Council Civil Defence wishes to advise all schools in the Westland District that in their opinion that the coming Cyclone Gita should be treated with extreme caution. While the final track and severity of the cyclone is still to be determined, our advice is to keep all children at home tomorrow (Tuesday). 

Further information on the cyclone can be obtained from the Council Website and also on the Council’s Facebook page. It is noted that the final decision on children attending school is at the Board of Trustee’s discretion.

West Coast Emergency:
www.westcoastemergency.govt.nz
www.facebook.com/emergencywestcoast

MetService:
www.metservice.com
www.metservice.com/warnings/tropical-cyclone-activity 

 

Preparing for an event

Key Civil Defence Tips

  • Secure, or move inside, anything that could cause damage in strong winds.
  • Close windows and doors, close curtains to prevent injury from breaking windows.
  • Stay inside and bring your pets inside. If you have to leave, take them with you.
  • Listen to the radio and follow the instructions of emergency services.
  • Avoid non-essential travel during severe weather and never drive through floodwaters.

Basic supplies to have at home:

  • Water for three days or more - nine litres for every person
  • Long lasting food that doesn't need cooking (unless you have a camping stove or BBQ), and food for babies and pets
  • Toilet paper and large plastic buckets for an emergency toilet
  • Dust masks and work gloves

Basic supplies to have in a bag in case you have to evacuate:

  • Torches and batteries
  • Radio – wind up or with batteries
  • Hand cleaner
  • Cash
  • Copies of important documents (online or paper)
  • Walking shoes, warm clothes, raincoat and hat
  • First aid kit and prescription medicine
  • Water and snack food (remember babies and pets too)
Summary: 
Cyclone Gita is forecast to track southeastwards and cross central New Zealand Tuesday/Wednesday.