Locals in New Zealand are being warned of possible power outages and roadblocks as Cyclone Cook is expected to reach the country with a vengeance Thursday night.
The category three Cyclone Cook is moving south away from New Caledonia and will turn into an extratropical cyclone before reaching New Zealand on Thursday, according to the Daily Mail.
The storm is being described by the Daily Mail as New Zealand’s worst in 50 years. In fact, MetService is warning locals to brace for power outages and road blocks with the cyclone to bring similar conditions to the storm that sunk the Wahine in 1968, killing 51 passengers, according to the Daily Mail.
According to Radio New Zealand, two states of emergency have been declared, in Thames-Coromandel and Bay of Plenty, while Auckland could experience winds gusting up to 97 mph. According to TVNZ, Auckland is predicted to receive about six inches of rain between 9 a.m Wednesday morning and 9 p.m. Thursday night.
Weather forecasters are advising people in the upper North Island to reconsider their travel plans for Easter and stay off the roads until Cyclone Cook has passed, according to Radio New Zealand.
Cyclone Cook Disrupts Cruises From Australia and New Zealand
According to Cruise Critic, Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas cancelled Monday’s call at the Isles of Pines in New Caledonia, instead spending the day at sea. The ship had been sailing on a 13-night South Pacific and Fiji itinerary that departed Sydney April 6. The rest of the cruise is set to proceed as scheduled.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Spirit was forced to cancel both of the ports on its scheduled seven-night Pacific Islands itinerary, which departed Sydney on April 7. The ship replaced a scheduled call at Noumea with a sea day, while Tuesday’s call at the Isle of Pines was dropped in favor of a call at Moreton Island off the coast of Queensland.
The storm then hit New Caledonia early Tuesday morning, the New Zealand Herald reports, as a category 3 storm, injuring four and leaving thousands without power. According to the latest forecasts the storm is set to move over the eastern parts of New Zealand late this week, including a direct track over the East Cape.