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Deep sub-tropical low hits New Zealand, wreaking havoc across North Island

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A deep sub-tropical low hit New Zealand's North Island on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 with heavy rain and strong winds, causing flooding, power outages and landslides. The heaviest rain fell on the east side of the North Island.

The storm dumped 130 mm (5.1 inches) of rain overnight to the Gisborne Ranges with another 110 mm (4.3 inches) or more expected by 16:00 local time today. Gusts at White Island peaked at 169 km/h (105 mph).

Schools were closed, communities cut off and thousands of homes and businesses left without power, from the East Coast to Hawke's Bay and Taranaki. Eastland Networks' general manager of networks said rain, wind and flying debris had caused outages and repair teams had been working all night.

Overnight rain has damaged roads and bridges while Waipaoa River flooded areas and cut off the small town of Te Karaka. The Hikuwai River has reportedly peaked at 11 m (36 feet) early Tuesday morning, and debris and logs were washing downstream. Mangahao River came close to breaching its banks.

At 12:15 local time today, New Zealand's Met Service said the storm is expected to move south to lie near the central high country by midnight Tuesday, then move southeast and lie just southeast of central New Zealand by midnight Wednesday.

This deep sub-tropical low will bring heavy rain and gales to many parts of northern and central New Zealand, meteorologists said, advising residents to keep up to date with forecasts.

Featured image: Flooding in Gisborne after deep sub-tropical low hits North Island, New Zealand on June 12, 2018. Credit: Gisborne District Council

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