Police slam 'false information' spreading after Cyclone Gabrielle

Mon, Feb 20
Police addressing a group of concerned Clive residents in Clive.

Rumours and false information spreading in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle are serving to "make vulnerable people feel even more unsafe", a police spokesperson said on Sunday night.

"As well, each false rumour that requires investigation is taking Police staff away from the important work they are doing."

It comes after Eastern District Police have conducted 2028 reassurance patrols in the cyclone-hit region since Tuesday.

"People who have now been in touch with someone previously reported uncontactable are urged to update their status through 105 online, so we can prioritise those who need the most urgent checks," the spokesperson said.

The latest numbers

The death toll for Cyclone Gabrielle is at 11.

As of 2pm Sunday, there have been 6431 reports of uncontactable people registered and 3216 reports from people registering that they are okay.

Since Tuesday, police have arrested 42 people for various offences in Hawke's Bay and 17 in Tairawhiti.

"Police are confident there is sufficient staff in Eastern District to manage both the emergency response and routine policing, and we continue to monitor what is required," the spokesperson said.