Cyclone Pam weakening as it nears New Zealand video

Civil Defence Facebook/Mark Sloane Trent Fearnley

This image shows Cyclone Pam north of New Zealand at 6pm, local time, on Sunday.

A yacht briefly hit rocks near the Auckland Harbour Bridge this afternoon.

The relative calm before the storm in Te Araroa.

1  of  3
« Previous « Previous Next » Next »

Wet weather has reached parts of the North Island as a downgraded Cyclone Pam tracks closer to New Zealand.

Cyclone Pam is 500km east-northeast of Cape Reinga moving swiftly southeast at 55 kmh.

The cyclone has left a path of destruction in Vanuatu, where dozens of people were feared killed when it hit yesterday.

MetService

MetService Severe Weather Warning.

How's the weather where you are? Send us your photos and videos newstips@stuff.co.nz

Metservice manager of forecasting operations Ramon Oosterkamp said the cyclone was expected to recurve southward before passing about 150km east of East Cape at midday on Monday.

By 11pm, winds were increasing along eastern shores of Northland, through the Hauraki Gulf, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty. 

INCOMING: The cyclone sitting above New Zealand, as at 8am on Sunday.
METSERVICE

INCOMING: The cyclone sitting above New Zealand, as at 8am on Sunday.

Southeast winds were gusting 110 to 120kmh in exposed places late Sunday night, with waves of 4.5 metres near Tutukaka in Northland. 

Metservice meteorologist Arno Dyason said there had been reports of offshore gusts as high as 125 kmh accompanied by large swells, and of a power outage in Kamo in Whangarei.

READ MORE: 

Waves and scattered debris along the coast, caused by Cyclone Pam, in the Vanuatu capital of Port Vila.
UNICEF Pacific

Waves and scattered debris along the coast, caused by Cyclone Pam, in the Vanuatu capital of Port Vila.

* Cyclone Pam: Vanuatu aftermath 'heartbreaking'

Ad Feedback

Cyclone Pam: What you need to know

Rain was falling in Gisborne with around 200mm expected to accumulate around Gisborne, the ranges of northern Hawkes Bay and eastern Bay of Plenty, with lesser but still significant amounts near the coast of northern Hawkes Bay and the hills and ranges further south.

Cyclone Pam as it headed south after slamming Vanuatu, while Cyclone Nathan lingers of the Queensland coast
EarthWindMap

Cyclone Pam as it headed south after slamming Vanuatu, while Cyclone Nathan lingers of the Queensland coast

About 90mm of rain is expected to accumulate around eastern Northland over an 18-hour period. Rivers and streams in those areas are expected to rise rapidly, and localised surface flooding and slips are likely as well as hazardous driving conditions.

Great Barrier Island was predicted to bear the brunt of the Auckland region's weather overnight with severe gales forecast and the possibility of heavy rain.

Great Barrier business owner Chris Ollivier said it was "starting to blow reasonably hard" by 9.45pm.

There had been gusts in the channel of up to 75kmh though he predicted they would have gained in intensity. He said swell was not as big as he had expected but the biggest seas were forecast for about daybreak on Monday. 

Those conditions could affect low-lying areas on Barrier's east coast, he said.

Metservice said Auckland north of Orewa was expected to experience a "wet and very windy night and overnight period".

"Waiheke Island, in particular Bottom End (eastern end) will likely experience strong Southerly gales overnight," the forecaster said.

Monday's ferry services from Gulf Harbour and Whangaparaoa have been cancelled due to expected high winds.

A decision on whether other ferry services would continue would be made on Monday morning, an Auckland Transport spokesman said.

Civil Defence responded to unions who said workers were receiving conflicting advice over whether to go to work on Monday.

Auckland Civil Defence Controller Clive Manley said "we're not saying people should stay away but we're saying traffic is going to be congested".

He said Civil Defence suggested those that could work at home might find it a good idea just as a way to avoid the inevitable traffic congestion on the roads created by debris.

"There will be access but it will be slow," he said.

Auckland Maritime Police  rescued a boat that had broken its moorings in Waitemata Harbour on Sunday afternoon.

Another boat had also broken moorings near one of Auckland's eastern beaches and had to be rescued, he said.

Westlake said many people were observed battening down their hatches today and he advised people to leave their boats alone overnight, no matter the weather, as attempting to reach them in the dark could be dangerous. 

The cyclone weakened to a category 4 storm as it tracks down the Pacific to New Zealand and was expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm around 7am.

GISBORNE REGION READY

Gisborne Civil Defence is urging people to put off all travel to or from the region on Monday when Cyclone Pam is expected to deliver south-east gales of between 130 and 150 kmh, about 200mm of "intense" rain, and high seas.

In addition, swells of nine metres were forecast for Tolaga Bay and as the storm is predicted to coincide with a high tide, coastal State Highway 35 is expected to be inundated in places.

Extra emergency services have been moved into the eastern Bay of Plenty in preparation. Anaura Bay and Nuhiti have been evacuated.

Civil Defence said people with high health needs had been assessed and alternative arrangements made. All ships have been moved out of Gisborne port and boats able to be moved have been shifted out of the marina.

Gisborne emergency manager Richard Steele said people should "respond to the conditions" and make their own decision about travelling to work in the morning. 

The Fire Service has reallocated crews to "vulnerable" coastal areas in advance of Cyclone Pam.

Deputy National Commander Paul McGill said 70 firefighters and 30 appliances had been moved on Saturday to support local crews.

"Getting in early will enable us to respond more effectively when the cyclone hits," he said.

An Auckland-based force has been moved to Northland, Hamilton and Rotorua crews have reinforced the eastern Bay of Plenty and a Wellington taskforce has been moved to Hawke's Bay which will in turn support Poverty Bay.

McGill said the Fire Service had activated three regional and five local co-ordination centres to assist with any flooding, slips or damage that might occur.

MetService meteorologist Peter Little said north-eastern parts of the North Island from Northland down into the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawke's bay should brace for strong weather on Sunday evening.

"Severe and dangerous weather is still expected in the north-east parts of the country ... as the cyclone approaches, or by the time it gets here it may be a deep low but it doesn't really matter what it's called, we're going to have some strong weather."

Whangarei's mayor said her region was well prepared but she was worried about the danger of the large swells.

"Our major concern is the swells, making sure people are securing their boats and any loose material on coastal properties," Sheryl Mai said.

The coastline would take a battering and she advised motorists to stay off the roads unless there was an emergency.

It was already raining in eastern Northland and things would pick up later, with winds in the area reaching up to 120kmh.

But the real brunt was expected to be felt on the eastern coast of the North Island, with about 200mm of rain and winds gusting more than 160kmh possible.

These would hit the area late Sunday evening and continue overnight and into Monday morning.

The cyclone was also creating huge swells that would bring big and possibly damaging waves to the country, Little said. "It will be extremely large waves and quite dangerous conditions."

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon said the region was well-prepared.

"Civil Defence is all prepared, all the government departments, council, police, ambulance, lifeline, contractors, power, telecommunications, gas - all are standing by, our community is prepared, they've all been well informed."

Supermarkets were running low on water and candles as people stocked up, and he advised residents they looked after their pets and neighbours as well as themselves.

EVENTS AFFECTED

The arrival of Cyclone Pam has brought bad news for some events around the country.

The threat of the storm forced US band The Eagles to bring forward their concert start time to 6pm.

The Southern Hemisphere's largest equestrian show could also be affected.

Organisers of the Horse of the Year show, a five-day event due to begin at the Hawke's Bay A & P showgrounds on Tuesday, are scrambling as the looming bad weather heads towards the region.

Event director Kevin Hansen said staff were holding an emergency meeting to come up with a contingency plan if the event could not be set up in time.

"It's having quite a major effect at the moment...by tomorrow morning we'll have a thousand trucks camping on the ground."

It was possible some early events would have to be postponed, but it would depend on the severity of the weather, he said.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

More HIV diagnoses than ever

New Zealand AIDS Foundation executive director Dr Jason Myers said condoms were "still the best way" to prevent HIV ...

"There's no reason why it won't keep on increasing if we don't improve prevention," researcher says.

Judge: Council wrong over cycle trail

Ken Rintoul says he's happy with a court decision, after a judge found Far North District Council breached its own processes.

In fracas over cycle trail construction, a judge says council could not unilaterally exclude a local contractor.

Poetry event to connect youth

Albany Senior High School students and Upper Harbour Local Board Youth Caucus members, chairperson Amy Irvine and deputy ...

Upper Harbour's Hearing Everyday Youth celebrate Youth Week.

Silverdale cheerleaders victorious video

All Star Infinity Cheerleaders were celebrating victory in Hawaii last week.

After months of intense training, Prodigy and Odyssey surprised the crowd with their energetic performance.

Wellington

When brain tumours glow fluoro video

Brain tumour surgery has become easier for neurosurgeons thanks to a new drug called Gliolan - which highlights the ...

Alice Chambers' life should be longer, thanks to a drug that made her brain tumour glow.

Uni hall booze ban video

Uni

Night of drunken destruction trashes Victoria University hall in The Terrace.

New arena for Wellington

An enthusiastic crowd rocks to The Pixies performing at Vector Arena (now the Spark Arena) in Auckland. Wellington is in ...

A 10,000-seater arena for concerts and events looks set to get the green light.

No ticket to ride

The future of public transport is coming, and it is a future in which you will be able ride a bus with just your bank card.

A bank card may soon be all you need to use public transport across NZ - unless you're in Auckland.

Canterbury

Battle to save historic house

A century-old home burnt down near Little River in Canterbury on Monday morning.

A human chain of firefighters and farm workers dragged furniture out of a beloved Banks Peninsula house before it was engulfed by flames.

Food factory on fire

The cause of a fire at a food dehydration processing factory near Ashburton is not yet known (file photo).

Fire at food factory near Ashburton under control, but cause not yet known.

Refund for dodgy car

Harry and Heather Rae Ngarae have handed back the keys to their Subary Legacy after a dodgy deal at a Christchurch car ...

Elderly couple will get money back after salesman lumped them with a broken car.

From hospital to heart attack

Craig Caddy suffered a heart attack just after visiting Burwood Hospital with chest pains, but he insisted on driving ...

Man collapsed just minutes after complaining of chest pains at a Christchurch hospital. He died days later in intensive care.

Waikato

Bomb claims Kiwi's pen pal video

A triptych of Skye's best friend, Georgina Callander, including the centre shot of Georgina posing with American popstar ...

Best friends spoke that morning but Manchester explosion left 'horrible gut feeling'.

Priest's new victims

Mark Mannix Brown, 74, after appearing in the Hamilton District Court on Tuesday.

Mark Mannix Brown, 74, was jailed in the 1990s for similar offending.

Couple claim $27m Lotto prize

The winning lotto was brought from Thames Four Square owned by Sukhpal Singh.

A Thames couple have come forward with the golden Lotto ticket.

Ham East rejuvenation starts

The new playground in Steele Park, as shown in the concept design for the Hamilton East Neighbourhood Plan.

But one councillor says Hamilton East is already thriving and will continue to do so if council keeps its sticky fingers out of it.

Taranaki

'Business as usual' at Coastal

Principal of Coastal Taranaki school in Okato, Janelle McKenzie, has resigned after just over a year in the job.

Board of trustee members had a catch-up with staff in the wake of principal's departure but it was "business as usual".

Woken by stalker

Hanz  Browne was jailed for two years when he appeared in the Hawera District Court on Tuesday. (file photo)

She screamed after waking up to find a stalker staring at her from the foot of her bed.

'High risk' pregnancy appeal

Virginia Rose James, 33, had earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of forgery and one representative charge of obtaining ...

She was jailed for stealing $705,000 but wants out, saying her pregnancy is "high risk".

TV games show needs families

Family Feud auditions are being held in New Plymouth on June 24.

Family feud fans rejoice, the game show needs more Taranaki families to feud.

Manawatu

Euthanasia a 'good death'

Professor Jan Bernheim founded palliative care group Not Necessarily Terminal.

Professor Jan Bernheim says that if euthanasia is to be made legal in NZ, it should not be made too complicated.

Liquor shop opposed

Palmerston North's first Black Bull is soon to open unopposed in Rangitikei St. A second in the new Milson shopping ...

A church and a retirement village sit next to the proposed Black Bull branch.

Typhoid tests carried out

Palmerston North Hospital has tested 11 children for typhoid.

28 people have been tested for typhoid, including 11 children under 5.

No guarantees for democracy

Gerald Ford didn't need any votes to become Unites States President.

OPINION: Some things are more important than the right to vote.

Nelson

Quit smoking incentive to help unborn children

Stacey Russell, second from right is on the Pepi First programme which is run and supported by Sonia Hepi-Treanor, left, ...

An incentivised programme has helped Motueka woman Stacey Russell to quit smoking. 

Drunk driver in dock

A photo of the crash scene on Whakatu Dr taken from a passing vehicle and posted on Facebook.

A drink driver in Nelson damaged four vehicles and seriously injured a woman.

Iwi challenges water bottling

Te Waikoropupu Springs is considered sacred to local iwi.

A plan to bottle thousands of cubic metres of water from a Tasman spring has been dealt a blow after a local iwi appeal.

Poverty hitting region's youngest

Kay Guyton runs Angel in My Street and works to support Stoke families and children in poverty.

The report has found more than 1400 children in Nelson and Tasman live below the poverty line. 

Marlborough

Hundreds farewell Bevan Moody video

Waitohi rugby player Bevan Moody collapsed on the field earlier this month.

Street closed for emotional haka after funeral of rugby player who died on the field.

Tatts, shoes for drugs

Tinnies of cannabis normally sell for about $20, a police summary of facts says. (File photo)

A cannabis dealer caught with a wallet full of $20 notes wasn't all about the money.

School track causes bike boom video

The new cycle track at Mayfield School has been a huge hit with pupils, from left, Vee-jay Koroheke, Payton ...

Cycle track around the school has pupils clocking up the kilometres without realising.

Beer burglar jailed

Walter Narayan was told about the outdoor fridge as a place where he could get beer, his lawyer said. (File photo)

He went back to the well one too many times. The well being someone else's outdoor fridge.

South Canterbury

'It's not an easy subject' video

Ryan Weaver-Cogger's mother Michelle Cogger hopes mental health educator Mike King will encourage young people and the ...

Bereaved mothers bringing mental health educator Mike King to South Canterbury to help lift the taboo around suicide.

$700,000 upgrade

Smithfield Plant manager Nigel Cuthill has sent out a letter to residents informing them of the $700,000 to the plant- ...

Alliance will spend $700k to upgrade plant following odour complaints.

Brekkie for a good cause

Pink Ribbon Breakfast at the Arowhenua Marae in Temuka. Pictured are Wendy Moore (left) and Shirley McPherson (right).

The Arowhenua Marae was transformed into a sea of pink to support a good cause.

Ara concerns voiced

Ara Institute of Canterbury's Timaru campus.

Ara criticised for a lack of communication with South Canterbury stakeholders.

Southland

Bluff oyster numbers decline

Bluff Oyster Festival Chairman John Edminstin in front of the crowd at the Bluff Oyster Festival.

The results of a recent NIWA survey has shown replenishment rates in the Foveaux strait Oyster fishery have lowered since 2012.

Aurora on show

Te Anau resident Chris Watson captured this stunning panorama from the Ivon Wilson Park on the outskirts of the town.

Photographers were out in force on Sunday capturing the dazzling Southern Lights.

Barclay supporting centre

Lumsden Maternity's contract with the Southern District Health Board expires on July 31.

Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay says he will not let the Lumsden Maternity Centre close.

Sea lions could scupper fishery

A juvenile sea lion in Port Pegasus in January 2016. In New Zealand sea lions are ranked as "nationally critical" on the ...

Would a new aquaculture project on Stewart Island affect the sea lion colony?

Ad Feedback