17 Feb 2023

Cyclone Gabrielle: Thousands displaced, communities remain cut off and death toll rises

7:52 pm on 17 February 2023
Digger swamped with debris from cyclone on Pakōwhai road, Hastings

Digger swamped with debris from cyclone Photo: Antonio Della Barca

The number of deaths linked to the winds, landslips and floodwaters caused by Cyclone Gabrielle has risen to eight, with police this afternoon confirming another death near Napier.

In a statement, police said they were investigating a death in Puketapu, west of Napier, and believed the person died after being caught in flood water.

Formal identification is yet to take place, but Stuff has reported that the flood victim was a 59-year-old woman whose body was found in her cottage's roof cavity.

A ninth death - the father of former NZ Kiwis star Issac Luke - has also been reported after he was caught in a slip caused by Cyclone Gabrielle, but this has not yet been confirmed by officials.

Meanwhile, people in Gisborne are being warned to stop using water immediately until further notice.

The Gisborne District Council says the water treatment system has failed.

See how the day unfolded with RNZ's live blog below:

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