WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The death toll from New Zealand’s cyclone reached eight on Friday with more than 4,500 people still unaccounted for four days after the nation’s most destructive weather event in decades brought widespread flooding, landslides and power outages, the prime minister said.
Cyclone Gabrielle struck the country’s north on Monday and the level of damage has been compared to Cyclone Bola in 1988. That storm was the most destructive on record to hit the nation of 5 million people.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said three more fatalities had been confirmed since Thursday and police held “grave fears” for other missing persons.
“Police report that there are 4,549 persons reported as uncontactable. A team of 80 people are working now to narrow down this list as quickly as possible and to prioritize contact with those who are most likely to be missing,” Hipkins told reporters.
Hipkins said he didn’t know how far the death toll would climb.
“The thing is we don’t know. We’re not talking huge numbers,” he said. “It’s not like I’m aware that there are lots and lots and lots out there that we’re not reporting. We’re still picking up one or two (fatalities) at a time,” he added.
Very Sad....Populations have grown, yet the fatalities are less in current times...thanks to early detection devices, systems, and satellites. Let's hope the politicians do not use this tragedy to promote their B.S. agenda...But you know what they say...""Never let a Tragedy go to Waste"" (because that's how Human Waste rolls).
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