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20 April 2017, 10:22 | Terri Saunders
DAVID WALKER FAIRFAX NZ
Beckenham residents check the Heathcote river levels during the Good Friday flooding in Christchurch
The latest tracking on Thursday is more concerning for New Zealand with Cook likely to make landfall in the afternoon or evening around western Bay of Plenty then track southwards through the North Island and down the South Island's east coast.
Earlier this week, Cyclone Cook killed one person when it swept through the Pacific islands of New Caledonia. The Meteorological service issued severe weather warnings for the upper North Island and warned of landslides, flooding and wind damage from gusts of up to 140 kilometres (93.2 miles) per hour. People should be prepared to change their travel plans if necessary as driving could become hazardous during the severe weather period. Hundreds of people in New Zealand were evacuated from some coastal areas on Thursday as the.
The storm was expected to move south overnight Thursday and reach the capital, Wellington, early Friday, causing more problems along the way but also losing some of its punch.
While the 1600 residents of the township of Edgecumbe were this week being slowly being let back into homes flooded when a stopbank breached during last week's heavy rains, the prospect of another round of rain has caused concern.
The storm - expected to bring torrential rain and winds gusting at up to 150km/h (93mph) - has been classified as an extra-tropical cyclone.
Cyclone Cook has arrived in New Zealand coastal waters this morning and MetService is following its movement very closely.
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Authorities are now anxious about how Cyclone Cook will impact land that is already saturated from heavy rains.
More than 1000 homes have lost power across the Bay of Plenty, according to Powerco, with Whakatane District Council reporting multiple trees blown over.
Flights across the country have been delayed or cancelled, and Air New Zealand has suspended operations altogether from Tauranga Airport in the North Island.
A local state of emergency has also been declared across the entire region.
The country only suffered a heavy storm last week from which it is just recovering, with Cyclone Debbie causing floods across some areas of New Zealand.
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