Cyclone Gabrielle: Uncontactable list hits zero, 6000 located

Tue, Mar 7
Devastation wrought by Cyclone Gabrielle.

All 6000 people reported as uncontactable in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle have now been located, police say.

The vast majority of those on the list were from Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.

"Hundreds of staff across the country worked tirelessly to contact and locate more than 6000 people previously on the list," police said in a statement.

Thousands were uncontactable in the wake of the cyclone due to widespread power outages and severed communications links throughout Hawke's Bay and Gisborne.

But police are still looking for missing man Joseph Ahuriri who was last seen as the cyclone battered the eastern North Island.

The 40-year-old was previously reported as being uncontactable, but was reclassified as a missing persons case last week.

"While Joseph has had no contact with family or police since the cyclone, inquiries to date suggest it is unlikely that his disappearance is cyclone-related, although this cannot be fully ruled out," police said last week.

He was last seen on CCTV on the morning of February 14 in Havelock North, heading south. The missing man was driving a white Toyota Hilux, registration DZH116.

Police are still appealing for anyone with information on Ahuriri's whereabouts to contact them immediately.

In their statement, police sent their condolences to the 11 people who were killed as a result of the cyclone while further deaths are ruled out.

"While reaching this milestone is a noteworthy achievement, police also remember those families who are grieving for the loss of loved ones during this event."

"Our condolences go out to those affected.

A total of 11 people have died in circumstances related to the cyclone; nine were from the Eastern District, and two were from Waitematā.


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