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Cyclone Gita causes flight cancellations in New Zealand
Wellington, Feb 20 (IANS) Flights at five airports in New Zealand were cancelled on Tuesday due to Cyclone Gita, which has caused extensive destruction.
Air New Zealand reported that it had cancelled all flights in and out of Wellington airport due to the cyclone, which was expected to reach central New Zealand with winds of up to 150 km per hour, reports Efe bews.
In a statement, the airline said that air traffic would also be affected at airports in New Plymouth, Hokitika, Queenstown and Nelson.
Flights were still operating in the airports of Blenheim, the Kapiti coast and Palmerston North, although cancellations are expected if conditions worsen.
“Weather conditions are forecast to deteriorate from midday. We are anticipating major disruptions across the lower North Island and South Island this afternoon,” Air New Zealand tweeted.
Despite the fact that the storm has lost some of the characteristics of a tropical cyclone, authorities still expected it to bring torrential rains, a tidal surge of up to 10 metres and a rapid increase in river flows.
The arrival of cyclone Gita has forced several roads and more than 50 schools to close, while cancellations of train services in Christchurch, Nelson and West Coast, all on South Island, were also expected.