Jordan- Gita: Ex-cyclone brings damage and flooding to New Zealand


"Christchurch appears to have escaped the worst of ex-Tropical Cyclone Gita after the cyclone split and tracked further south than predicted", city officials said.

Firefighters were inundated with call-outs after the country battled with former Cyclone Gita, but South Island mayors say they dodged a bullet with little major damage.

More than 2000 properties in Manawatū, Rangītikei and Whanganui lost power overnight on Tuesday after strong winds and heavy rain closed roads and sent unsecured trampolines flying.

Several homes were evacuated, dozens of schools closed and flights were canceled.

It added that "significant wave heights of around nine metres" were being recorded off the Taranaki coast.

Residents in one of New Zealand's key apple growing regions have battened down their hatches ahead of a night of wild weather.

New Zealand Civil Defence warned people to expect flooding in the town's main street "over the next few hours".

The state of emergency in Buller, Grey and Westland districts had been lifted on Wednesday morning but remained in placed for Nelson.

He said: "We stand ready to help and have personnel and trucks that can be mobilised as quickly as possible".

Cyclone Gita hit the Pacific island nations of Fiji and Tonga last week, packing winds up to 275 km/h.

Transport authorities also shut a stretch of highway along the east coast of the South Island and the Department of Conservation was closing seaside hiking tracks and campsites along the West Coast and ushering tourists away from low-lying area.