Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty has called for increased communication on support after severe thunderstorms in Auckland.
It came after a civil defense warning text was not sent, and Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown told RNZ that he would review the response, including why the text was not sent.
McAnulty told RNZ he was concerned about the lack of communication.
“It’s important that people get the information they need.”
McAnulty said he specifically asked his social media channels and website to provide 30-minute updates.
Even if there is nothing to update, he said it would be reassuring for those affected to watch the channel and know that the situation hasn’t gotten worse.
“If it looks like their neighborhood needs evacuation, I want people to be aware and go out so they can be prepared.”
Read more about weather and impacts:
Mayor defends time taken to declare state of emergency
Auckland’s state of emergency was declared around 9:30pm. Heavy rain and strong winds began in the area early Friday morning.
Asked if the declaration should have been made sooner, Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown told Kim Hill that by then all resources had already been used and “thousands” were already helping. said.
“We had to wait until there was a formal request from the Emergency Management Center and the moment we received it we were ready, signed and ready.
“[The state of emergency] I just allowed the people I was helping to have some power… I could actually tell people they had to evacuate. “
Emergency management managers told him some shelters were at risk, but that had nothing to do with the time it took to declare the emergency, he said. .
“The state emergency had not been called before. At that stage, I believed they were coping, but when police and fire and emergency announced they were overwhelmed, They were overwhelmed and they recommended that I declare a state of emergency.
“I was following the recommendations of the experts.”
McAnulty said that once the state of emergency is declared, it means additional resources can be brought in from other regions.
“When the weather clears, NEMA [National Emergency Management Agency] We will also be adding personnel from Wellington.”
“This is record rainfall and it happened in a very short period of time. I have seen people having to abandon their cars with the windshield wipers on.
“We knew it was going to rain, so we were prepared just in case, but we didn’t expect such a short amount of rain.”
The threshold for declaring a state of emergency depends on local conditions and resources, he said.
“For example, if the level of rainfall that could occur in Marlborough could cause damage, [but] Even if the West Coast had the same level of rainfall, they wouldn’t do as much damage because they are used to that kind of rain.
“Smaller rural areas with fewer people may declare a state of emergency earlier as they need additional support from NEMA.”
McAnulty said that within a day or two after people took stock of their own personal situation and reported the problem, authorities would be able to actually measure the damage citywide.
Mayor Brown said while building an overall picture of the impact, he will focus on welfare as a priority and work to restore critical infrastructure.
“We have a team in place to deal with this challenge and need urgent expert support from outside the region.
“It’s certainly worrying. This is an unprecedented event. It will be interesting to see how prepared Wellington is when the earthquake hits.
“I’m just suggesting that people rise to the occasion.”
Both urged people to stay safe in the area and not travel unless necessary.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/483251/auckland-thunderstorm-civil-defence-texts-not-sent Auckland Thunderstorms: Civil Defense Texts Not Sending