21st Dec 2012 12:31pm | By Yara Silva
The cyclone that hit Fiji and Samoa last week is now heading towards New Zealand.
Cyclone Evan’s heavy rain and gales are expected to reach the island on Sunday and Monday, and will affect Northland, Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, western Bay of Plenty and north Gisborne.
The MetService are on severe weather watch, and are expected to issue a severe weather warning on Saturday.
Chief forecaster Peter Kreft said: “Evan will bring a large amount of tropical air over New Zealand. Which means the potential for heavy rainfall in places with strong onshore winds.”
However, the worst of the bad weather should be over by Christmas, althought there may be localised flooding and some disruption to transport.
“Christmas dinner outside isn’t completely off the table”, added Kreft.
Cyclone Evans caused hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage in Fiji and Samoa. In Samoa, five people tragically died, and others are still missing following the 200km/hr winds.
Luckily, Evan is not the most destructive cyclone to ever hit the South Pacific. Nine years ago, Cyclone Kina left 23 people dead, and thousands homeless.
A grant of $NZ10,000 ($A8,098) was given to the New Zealand Red Cross to help them deal with the damage already caused in Fiji and Samoa.
A relief committee was set up in Auckland on Friday. According to Auckland Mayor, Len Brown, “Auckland is the largest Pacific city in the world... Auckland will do whatever it can to help as we identity the most effective way to assist.”