Police continue to commit staff and resources to the Eastern District to assist local staff in responding to Cyclone Gabriel.
In addition to about 100 additional staff, the police deployed a police air support force (known as the Eagle Helicopter) along with 12 4×4 utes and 10 other police vehicles.
Police SAR teams are working to identify homes that have yet to be assessed and homes that are still blocked off in remote areas of the East Coast. Police staff are also assisting medical teams in conducting welfare checks for people with serious needs.
Police Commissioner Andrew Koster is in the Eastern District today, communicating with police staff who have been responding almost non-stop since the first hours of Cyclone Gabriel.
“Many of our staff have also been deeply affected by the devastation and we are very grateful that they continue to work so hard to help communities where so many have suffered so much,” Koster said. I am proud of
“Our staff are human and we have family and friends who have been affected by natural disasters like this. I come to work for
“This is an extremely devastating event for these communities and my heart goes out to all those affected.”
Police have set up a dedicated team to collate reports of people lost contact during Cyclone Gabriel with those who reported being safe. This includes cross-referencing with people reported safe through shelters, and direct reporting to police stations.
There are currently 80 police officers working on this and this number is expected to grow to 100 in the coming days.
Police priorities are to filter out duplicate reports made from unreachable people, match those reports with those who reported as safe, and prioritize this information for district staff on the ground.
This helps police staff and other agencies identify those most in need of welfare checks.
Communications are slowly resuming in the areas most affected by Cyclone Gabriel. For those who have not yet reported as safe, we encourage them to do so as soon as possible using his I’m Alive registration online form here. https://forms.police.govt.nz/im-alive
If you still haven’t been able to contact someone after the cyclone, we encourage you to complete the Contact Person Report here. https://forms.police.govt.nz/person-inquired-for
People who have been in contact with someone who was previously reported as out of touch are now prompted to update their report via the same link. This allows us to prioritize those who need verification most urgently.
As of 2pm today, there have been 4549 reports of people being unreachable registered, and 872 reports from those who have registered and are reported to be safe. Police continue to have serious concerns about several people.
Eight deaths have been confirmed after Cyclone Gabriel. This includes his two, who were confirmed dead today in Waiohiki and Puketapu.
As with any significant event of this nature, it is standard practice for emergency and response services to consider how best to deal with casualties or fatalities. Temporary facilities were set up at the port of Napier and Hawke’s Bay Hospital in Hastings.
The facility has been established as a precautionary measure to ensure that the deceased are managed with care and respect and dealt with according to Colonial processes. They are interred there before being taken to the morgue.
Published by Police Media Center
https://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/cyclone-gabrielle-police-continue-extra-support Cyclone Gabrielle – Police continue to provide additional assistance