| WELLINGTON, April 4
WELLINGTON, April 4 New Zealand was bracing for
potential flooding and landslips on Tuesday as the remnants of
Cyclone Debbie made landfall, a week after the powerful storm
hit neighbouring Australia where three people were killed by
The New Zealand Met office warned people on New Zealand's
north island to prepare for heavy rainfall for the next several
days, with some areas forecast to receive a month's worth of
rain in the next 24 hours.
"It's not a quick hit, it's a gradual process -- a lot of
rain is expected to fall over most parts of the North Island and
upper South Island," Met Service duty forecaster Raveen Das
New Zealand's mountainous terrain makes its roads
susceptible to landslides and many regions are still recovering
from a 7.8 magnitude quake that struck near Christchurch in
November, causing substantial damage to infrastructure.
The country's Civil Defence force is on standby.
Cyclone Debbie, a Category Four storm, one short of the most
powerful level five, pounded Australia's Queensland state on
Tuesday, smashing tourist resorts, bringing down power lines and
shutting down coal mines.
Three people were killed in Australia when they were caught
in floodwaters that swamped the country's east coast in the
aftermath and Australia's Defence Force was deployed to help
deliver medical personnel and supplies to communities in the
north of the state.
The disaster zone stretched 1,000 km (600 miles) from
Queensland state's tropical resort islands and Gold Coast
tourist strip to the farmlands of New South Wales state.
The Insurance Council of Australia has declared the event a
catastrophe, which could cost hundreds of millions of dollars in
losses and state officials have warned recovery and repairs will
take months as many areas remain subject to evacuation orders.
(Editing by Sandra Maler)