Nearly a week has passed since Cyclone Gabrielle hammered the North Island, resulting in deaths and leaving tens of thousands of people displaced, particularly in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay.
The national state of emergency has been extended for the next seven days.
But heroes and volunteers are hard at work, rescuing people, livestock and restoring hope for those who have lost everything to the cyclone.
In Hawke’s Bay, a group of locals and Defence Force crew helped rescue a cow buried up to its neck in silt, working for several hours to free it.
* Cyclone Gabrielle: Thousands still unaccounted for in Hawke’s Bay as recovery ongoing for region
* Marlburians head north to volunteer in Cyclone Gabrielle cleanup
* Cyclone Gabrielle: Was the catastrophe at Esk Valley avoidable?
Death toll of 11 people but many unaccounted for
Cyclone Gabrielle has claimed 11 people’s lives so far, including that of a 2-year-old girl.
Police don’t know yet how many more are still out there, with 6500 people still unaccounted for.
On Monday, the daughter of flood victim, 55-year-old Susane Caccoppoli, said her mother was a “kind constant” who was happiest when she was with her family.
Those looking for friends and family can log a request via this form or contact police on 105.
Government purse opens for Cyclone recovery
The Minister of Finance Grant Robertson, now Minister for Cyclone Recovery, announced a range of funding support on Monday after visiting Hawke’s Bay on Sunday.
It includes $250 million for Waka Kotahi and local councils to assess and fix roads and $50 million to deliver interim emergency business and primary sector support.
In addition, Inland Revenue is offering interest write-offs, tax concessions for donated trading stock and is extending the research and development tax Incentive filing deadline.
A further $3.35 million has been dispersed to the Tairāwhiti, Hawke’s Bay, Thames-Coromandel and Auckland Mayoral Relief funds.
More than $28.4 million in Civil Defence Payments have been made to approximately 57,000 people and $4 million has been made available through the Ministry of Primary Industries for farmers and growers.
There is also an $11.5 million package for NGOs (non-government organisations) and community groups to provide immediate support to their communities.
15,000 nationwide still waiting for power, communication
In Auckland, Vector said there are still 2000 homes without power, while there are 28,000 homes and businesses in Hawke’s Bay without power.
Napier-based lines company Unison said it has restored power to 73% of Napier and 95% of Hastings.
In Gisborne, lines company Eastland Group said there are some 618 customers without power in Tairāwhiti.
But those customers are surrounded by major damage: there are still 162 homes cut off in the Te Puia area and 64 without power in Wairoa.
Chorus said it has laid five kilometres of new fibre optic cable in the region to bypass several breaks on the network.
Police arrested at least 42 people for looting in flood-hit areas, leading to Police Minister Stuart Nash urging gang members to “get your bloody patches off” and help the recovery effort.
In Auckland, a 100-year-old tower will be demolished, leaving nearby residents in limbo waiting to return home in case the tower falls down before professionals can work.
Hawke’s Bay apple grower Yummy Fruit has described the cyclone as a horticulture apocalypse, with silt choking the lift out of trees across the region.
With large piles of silt collecting around flood damaged homes, people should wear protective layers like gloves, long sleeves, long trousers and a mask to clean up in case of contamination in the silt.
How you can help
Stuff readers in the tens of thousands have rallied and so far raised over $3.3 million, for what could cost $13 billion in recovery after the cyclone.
You can donate to the campaign, which will be distributed between the majorly affected cities’ Mayoral Relief Funds and the Red Cross.
Flood-hit emergency responders want people to send money, not goods, saying while the kindness is appreciated, it’s too hard to distribute properly.
Plus, if you’re pitching in and want to share email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also offer help or ask for it via the Stuff noticeboard.