Last Monday, I forgot to blog, because Monday wasn’t a holiday, and we know how much Monday and I get along.
However, we were getting weather warnings about Cyclone Gabrielle that was bearing down on New Zealand. Northland and Auckland had already been hammered the week before with a month’s worth of rain in a couple of days and severe flooding had occurred.
All eyes were on Cyclone Gabrielle, with warnings for Auckland, Northland, Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington, Marlborough, Kaikoura and Nelson / Tasman.
We were lucky. Nelson, Tasman m Marlborough and the west coast of the North Island escaped the worst of the rain and wind, which is really surprising. We spent Tuesday and Wednesday wondering if we were going to have the gale force winds and rain forecast. Instead, Northland, Auckland, and Hawkes Bay were inundated, with the worst of the damage in one of my favourite parts of our country.
Napier, Hasting, Gisbourne all suffered extensive damage, with some communities still without power and contact – cellphone infrastructure failed, and over 4000 people are still considered as missing.
11 people have died, and the toll is expected to increase.
This sort of thing doesn’t happen here, it happens in overseas, in the Pacific Islands, Caribbean Islands, the US, UK, Europe, not here on our own Country.
While we escaped damage, I feel for those communities that are now in limbo, unable to move forward until power and communication has been re-established, clean ups begin and lives are put back together.
I try not to focus on the news, with regular updates on the progress of locating people, accessing communities, the climbing death toll. I feel lucky, but sad. Such conflicting emotions are hard to express at this time.
If you live in an area damaged by the Cyclone, I pray that you are able to get back on your feet quickly and able to mourn the loss of your home and possessions and able to return and a resolution to your problems comes promptly.
Kia kaha (Stay Strong) New Zealand Aotearoa