Midway through the month of February, Gabrielle caused significant flooding on the North Island, resulting in the destruction of several roads and bridges. Eleven individuals have died, and many more are still missing.
It's going to be the biggest weather event this century, with a billion dollar price tag.- Grant Robertson, Finance Minister
Cyclone Gabrielle Death Toll Rises To 11 As Recovery Continues In New Zealand
New Zealand has declared a national emergency for just the third time in its history, the previous time being after the Christchurch earthquake, to expedite rescue and relief activities.
Mr. Hipkins said that more than 6,500 individuals were unreachable following the storm, but that officials had verified the safety of around 4,200 of them.
The prime minister noted that some 15,000 residents on the North Island still do not have electricity. Of them, around 70% reside in Napier and its environs.
Over the weekend, Mr. Robertson told TVNZ that the government will prioritize meeting the basic necessities (food, housing, energy, and communications) of the survivors.
The floods destroyed whole crops and herds, and the minister in charge of rebuilding has indicated that officials are still trying to figure out how much of it would be reimbursed by insurance.
The New Zealand government has allocated an extra NZ$250m (£129.6m) to repair damaged roads, and Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has also announced a NZ$50m (£25.9m) assistance package to provide urgent relief for companies.
Mr. Robertson said that New Zealand's present strategy to adapting to climate change"has not been sufficiently robust," and that this is to blame for the severity of the damage caused by Gabrielle.
The gaps will not be closed even with tens of billions of dollars in extra infrastructure expenditure over the next five years.
After the devastating 2011 South Island earthquake, which killed 185 people and displaced tens of thousands, New Zealand spent NZ$13 billion ($8.1 billion; £6.7 billion) rebuilding Christchurch.
While Cyclone Gabrielle primarily affected Fiji, New Zealand has also felt the storm's impact, with the cost of rebuilding highlighting the scale of the damage caused by the cyclone. The storm caused flooding, landslides, and infrastructure damage, and left thousands of people without homes, power, or access to clean water.
The estimated rebuilding cost underscores the urgent need for support in the region, as Fiji and other affected nations work to rebuild and recover from the impacts of the storm. In response to the damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle, the New Zealand government has announced emergency funding to support recovery efforts, and has called on other countries to join in providing aid and support.
Cyclone Gabrielle's rebuilding cost on par with the Christchurch earthquake highlights the severity of the storm's impact and the ongoing need for support and aid in the Pacific region. With continued attention and support, affected nations will be better able to rebuild and recover from the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle and other natural disasters.