Cyclone Gabrielle hit New Zealand on Monday with flood warnings and high winds that have knocked out power for 58,000 residents.
On Monday afternoon, 46,000 homes remained without power as the cyclone is expected to pass the city of Auckland into the evening, per The Associated Press. Wind warnings have been downgraded from 87 mph to 80 mph as the storm passes, but flooding issues loom.
“Extreme weather event has come on the back of extreme weather event,” said New Zealand’s Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, per BBC. “Things are likely to get worse before they get better.”
Nine regions are under a state of emergency, affecting nearly 1.7 million people in the northern part of the country, per BBC. Citizens were asked not to travel unless necessary, as schools and government buildings were closed to prepare for the storm Monday. This included close to 500 flights being canceled, stranding 10,000 flyers.
The prime minister announced a $7.25 million care package to support impacted communities with food and necessities, per Reuters.
Flooding is a large concern in the days ahead, as the country has received a large amount of rain from the cyclone, on top of receiving in one day the amount of rain that it usually receives all summer only two weeks ago, per the AP.
What’s the difference between a hurricane and a cyclone?
Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons are considered the same weather phenomenon, according to the National Ocean Service.
The term “cyclone” is used more generally and as a broad term, the National Ocean Service explains on its website. The makings of a cyclone are “a rotating, organized system of clouds and thunderstorms that originates over tropical or subtropical waters and has closed, low-level circulation.”