Cyclone Gabrielle was battering parts of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand with strong winds and heavy rain last night.
Most of the North Island is covered by some kind of Severe Weather Watch or Warning either for wind, rain or both.
Red heavy rain warnings have been issued for Northland, Auckland, the Coromandel and the northern parts of Gisborne Tairāwhiti.
- READ MORE: Northland declares state of emergency as Cyclone Gabrielle hits NZ
- Red weather warnings as Cyclone Gabrielle makes NZ landfall
- Cyclone Gabrielle in pictures with RNZ
- Cyclone Gabrielle closes in on Aotearoa: Warnings and forecasts
- Cyclone Gabrielle: Auckland sandbag stations run out of bags, people told ‘bring your own’ as storm approaches
- Follow RNZ’s live news coverage
Red strong wind warnings have been issued for Northland, Auckland and the Coromandel.
Vector said at 7pm 15,000 households in the Auckland area were without power last night.
“Our crews are responding as quickly and safely as they can, given the current weather conditions,” said a spokesperson.
Cyclone Gabrielle covering all of the North Island as of 7:20pm today. pic.twitter.com/niRd0Z1vrn
— Australasia From Space (@AussieFromSpace) February 12, 2023
Auckland Harbour Bridge closed
In the Coromandel Peninsula, about 11,000 homes were without power.
The storm has cut supply in Port Charles, Waikawau, Manaia, Tairua, Cooks Beach and parts of Whitianga.
Electricity has also been cut to Paeroa on the Hauraki Plains and Pururi, just south of Thames.
The Auckland Harbour Bridge remained closed overnight due to high winds.
Waka Kotahi made the decision to close the bridge just after 3:30pm yesterday afternoon, which was met with criticism from motorists.
National Emergency Response spokesperson Mark Owen said that while safety was its priority, closing the bridge was very challenging.
The bridge will remain closed until further notice.
Self-evacuations in Gisborne
Many families in Gisborne left their homes voluntarily ahead of the severe wind and rain.
Cyclone Gabrielle was set to reach Gisborne last night, bringing gale-force winds and nine metre storm surges and heavy rain.
Up to 450mm was forecast north of Tolaga Bay before Tuesday.
RNZ will continue live coverage from 5am Monday morning and update any major developments overnight.
This content originally appeared on Asia Pacific Report and was authored by APR editor.