Emergency warnings lifted after Cyclone Cook clips New Zealand

Coastal areas in New Zealand are being evacuated - with a second major storm in two weeks on the way.

The water forced 2,000 people to evacuate and flooded hundreds of homes.

In New Zealand, the storm made landfall in the Bay of Plenty at about 18:30 local time (06:30 GMT).

They have also warned that it is a "really tightly packed cyclone" that will bring a "phenomenal" amount of rain and wind, reported The New Zealand Herald, compared to Cyclone Debbie which was more spread out.

The storm moved south overnight on Thursday and was expected near the capital, Wellington, early Friday, causing more problems along the way but also losing some of its punch.

Two people were hospitalised in Hawke's Bay after a tree hit their auto.

Ahead of the storm's arrival, some residents fled their homes as authorities declared a state of emergency in parts of the North Island.

As residents in New Zealand's Bay of Plenty prepare to bear the brunt of Cyclone Cook, the region's kiwifruit growers and packers are watching on with cautious optimism.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

The category three cyclone is moving south away from New Caledonia and will turn into an extratropical cyclone before reaching New Zealand on Thursday.

The tropical depression, the tail-end of ex-Cyclone Cook which hit New Caledonia this week, has already generated offshore winds of more than 170 kmh.

A state of emergency has been declared in the Bay of Plenty and Thames-Coromandel regions, which are still suffering from the aftermath of ex-tropical cyclone Debbie. The New Zealand Transport Agency said it was considering closing the Auckland Harbour Bridge, a major thoroughfare in the country's largest city.

The storm has reportedly disrupted air operations, with Air New Zealand shutting down operations at Tauranga airport.

  • Leroy Wright