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State of Emergency declared as Cyclone Gabrielle hits New Zealand

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A nationwide state of emergency has been declared due to Cyclone Gabrielle.

Cyclone Gabrielle has hit the North Island and caused widespread power outages, flooding, slips and damage to properties. It is only the third time in New Zealand history a National State of Emergency has been declared.

Cyclone Gabrielle has bought a dangerous combination of gale force winds and heavy rain to large parts of New Zealand.

The heavy rain and severe wind in the upper North Island have damaged roads, downed trees and caused power outages.

Northland experienced winds up to 130km/h, Hauraki Gulf 135km/h, and maximum wind speeds at the Harbour Bridge were 110km/h.

Whangārei and Kaikohe received 70mm of rain over 12 hours, with no significant rainfall in Auckland overnight.

Western Coromandel peninsula was buffeted by winds up to 160km/h.

Some 24 civil defence centres and shelters were opened in Auckland overnight, including three mass evacuation centres. He advises people to check with local civil defence for details.

As of Monday afternoon, around 58,000 people across the top of the North Island without power.