Severe Weather Warnings Dampen Royal Tour in New Zealand, Heavy Rains May Cause Surface Floods
By Reissa Su | April 8, 2014 5:17 PM EST
The royal couple and Prince George's visit to New Zealand may not all be sunny skies as the MetService issued severe weather warnings. The weather bureau described the weather as not favourable for the royal visitors of the country.
Members of the Royal New Zealand Airforce and the royal household carry luggage from the royal plane after arriving in Wellington April 7, 2014. Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate are undertaking a19-day official visit to New Zealand and Australia with their son George. REUTERS/Phil Noble
According to MetService meteorologist Dan Corbett, heavy rains will hit Hawke's Bay and Gisborne. Residents in these areas were advised to watch out for possible floods as the heavy rain could cause rivers to rise. The weather bureau has also warned that driving when the weather warnings are still in place would be dangerous due to poor visibility.
The coastal hills and ranges of Hawke's Bay may accumulate up to 100 mm of rain within 12 hours beginning 9 pm. In Gisborne, 70 to 100 mm of rain could accumulate.
Wellington, Wairarapa and Marlborough were issued a severe weather watch. Mr Corbett said the thunderstorms were the due to the combination of onshore winds, moist and heat during the day.
The low pressure system expected to bring heavy rains may continue to move slow over northeast of the North Island on April 8 and 9. The MetService said the low pressure system is expected to weaken as it moves northeast.
Heavy rain is expected in Gisborne, the hills and ranges of Wairarapa, Rimutaka Forest Park, including the Orongorongo ranges of southeast Wellington. The Kaikoura ranges in South Island are expected to experience heavy rains.
Relief efforts in Solomon Islands continue after severe floods
Meanwhile, New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced that the country will give an additional $1.2 million to Solomon Islands after the severe flooding. Mr McCully said the additional funds will be used to help provide relief, water, sanitation and health supplies.
Non-government organisations in New Zealand are also expected to support the continuing relief operations in Solomon Islands. A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 had delivered relief supplies including medical kits, water containers and tarpaulins.
New Zealand has also sent disaster response specialists to Solomon Islands along with some members of the Red Cross. Mr McCully said New Zealand might consider a wider recovery package as Solomon Islands will soon begin its reconstruction efforts.
Authorities in Solomon Islands have said the severe floods caused 23 deaths as 9,000 people were left without homes.
Aside from New Zealand, Australia has also sent financial aid, aircraft and specialist teams to assist in relief and recovery efforts.
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