Cyclone Gita packs 150 kph winds for New Zealand

The clean up begins at the Titahi Bay boat sheds north of Wellington which were hit hard by ex Cyclone Gita

Seven provinces - Christchurch, Buller District, Grey District, Selwyn, Westland, Tasman and Taranaki - have declared states of emergency.

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.

Civil Defence is warning people to prepare for Cyclone Gita which is forecast to hit the West Coast late tonight.

The official MetService weather bureau said the storm had moved out to sea south of Christchurch by mid-morning today.

Residents in low-lying areas had been urged to evacuate as security forces were deployed to areas most vulnerable to the expected 150 kph winds and torrential rains where trees, power lines and buildings could be damaged.

A log ended up inside Titahi Bay Fishing Club
JOEL MAXWELL STUFF A log ended up inside Titahi Bay Fishing Club

The national carrier said all flights to the capital would be grounded from 2.45pm as weather authorities issued warnings of severe weather and heavy rain and gusts of up to 150kph. "We are expecting homes to be flooded".

Air New Zealand said it would not reimburse passengers for any costs or penalties like hotels and meals if flight schedules were disrupted.

A staggering 256 millimetres of rain fell in the Kaikoura Ranges in just 18 hours, and of that, 53.6mm of that fell in one hour, making it the wettest hour ever recorded in New Zealand.

The nation's parliament was destroyed by the storm, which caused extensive damage across the archipelago.

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