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Land still moving, communities remain cut off and death toll rises

Feb 17, 2023

Thousands of people are staying in evacuation centres with many homes severely damaged and uninhabitable from Cyclone Gabrielle's destruction.

There are 400 people in Tairāwhiti and 1900 people in Hawke's Bay staying in evacuation centres.

East Coast MP and Cabinet Minister Kiri Allan says it is uncertain how long people will need to call evacuation centres home.

In Auckland, people are still being evacuated from their homes in Piha as land remains dangerous and unstable days after Cyclone Gabrielle.

Locals are warning city sightseers to stay away from the Auckland beach community, saying they are still in the middle of an emergency.

Overnight, the death toll from Cyclone Gabrielle rose to six as the second firefighter caught in the Muriwai landslide died in hospital.

Craig Stevens was taken to hospital in a critical condition on Monday night.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand chief executive Kerry Gregory said FENZ was still coming to terms with the news of his death.

All of Fire and Emergency would feel his loss, Gregory said.

His heart went out to Stevens' family, he said.

Yesterday Fire and Emergency confirmed that a body retrieved from the slip was Stevens' colleague, Dave van Zwanenberg.

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