5 November 1.40pm. Update No.4
Saturated land is giving way to landslides around Tairāwhiti with Gisborne District Council engineers inspecting properties and evacuating residents from dangerous homes.
The district, which is currently in a state of emergency on the back of torrential and persistent rain, is facing a second wave of issues after widespread surface flooding yesterday.
Tairāwhiti Civil Defence group controller Dave Wilson says while the rain has abated, the district is still vulnerable. Given just how wet the district is, Council engineers are encouraging people who live on hills and near waterways to self-assess signs of subsidence, looking for things like cracks, water coming out of unusual places, lawns sagging, retaining walls or trees on strange angles, creaking noises in the house or doors sticking. Don’t hesitate to contact Council with any concerns.
Residents of two houses affected by a slip on Hill Road have been advised to evacuate after engineers’ assessment of the landslide. Power in the immediate vicinity has been turned off while work is carried out. Engineers will be back to the properties this afternoon to re-assess both the work and any movement.
Fulton Hogan teams have started cleaning properties that are affected by tainted water, and any concerned residents are encouraged to contact Council directly.
No major forestry slash has been generated out of the current event mainly because the weather is coming out of the east.
Tairāwhiti’s medical officer of health Anura Jayasinghe is reminding people of the dangers of contaminated water. “Don’t collect seafood from the ocean or the likes of watercress from drains,” he says. “People should stay out of the water too due to debris, lack of visibility and the speed of the flow.”
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency national journey manager Helen Harris is calling on people to be considerate to the teams working hard to fix the roads. There are fallen trees and slips, meaning some roads are down to a single lane. “We need everyone to drive to the conditions,” she says. “Please, slow down for the safety of everyone on the roads, including our contractors who are doing a great job.”
Anyone who sees damage on the roads should contact Council.
Welfare centres at The Salvation Army and House of Breakthrough are open until 8pm with Te Poho o Rawiri Marae on standby.
The CDEM Emergency Coordination Centre is in full swing with all emergency services in attendance and working together to ensure the community are safe.
“Anyone needing help shouldn’t hesitate to call us and we can link them with the appropriate services.”
Council can be called on 0800 653 800.
For more information check the civil defence webpage