This Tuesday, the New Zealand government declared a national state of emergency across the North Island, which has been battered by Cyclone Gabrielle. Many in Auckland were still cleaning up from flooding over recent weeks, and now these same communities have been affected by the latest storm. Across the country thousands of properties have been damaged and hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes. The devastation across the North Island is extensive, and the full impact of the Cyclone is still unfolding.
Response efforts are continuing across the North Island as volunteers and professional alike help to protect people and property and provide relief to those in need. The task of cleaning up is just beginning and many churches and community groups have been providing practical support to those affected.
Churches and individuals have provided financial assistance and practical support to help those affected. It has been encouraging to hear of the work being done by churches and community groups who have stepped up to provide temporary shelters and food for those in need. Churches have opened their doors to provide a place for people to stay and have also been distributing food and other supplies to those who have been left homeless by the storm. Many have lost everything and face uncertainty about what will happen next.