The extreme weather from Cyclone Cook has started to batter most of the country. Here are your stories, region by region:

WAIRARAPA:

"Half an hour before Cyclone Cook is supposed to pass thru Wairarapa its awfully quiet. Is it the calm before the storm? There has been light rain on and off so will wait and see... " Ksenia - 12.11am

WAINUI BEACH:

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"We are beach front at Wainui Beach and power is out and it's so windy the windows and house are shaking. Gisborne is getting hit hard." Lisa Vrede - 7.03pm

RANGITAIKI PLAINS:

"Power out after massive winds, the whole Rangitaiki plains dark. Lightning once or twice lit up our hills. Now it's all quiet. No wind, no rain. Are we in the eye of the storm?" Awakeri resident Geerten Lengkeek - 7.23pm

OPOTIKI:

Power went out in Opotiki a few minutes ago and it is "extremely windy", resident Jane Baird says.

She manages the local Four Square but shut up shop at 6pm when her boss told her to "get the hell out of there".

"I was driving home and there were big branches coming across the road, and there were big gusts of wind [hitting] my little car," she says.

Extreme winds are battering the area, although rain is not heavy. She and husband Murray breed cats; the animals are huddled inside "wondering what the hell's going on. All the animals are on edge."

Her son Glen lives in the Wainui, between Opotiki and Whakatane. A huge pohutukawa has just blown down in front of his house, she says. - 7.28pm

OPOTIKI:

Rotorua farmer Alan Baird is in Opotiki on business. - 8.22PM

"The power's out, trees are down, and it's blowing a bloody gale but there's bugger-all rain," he says.

"About 6.15pm it came in with a vengeance - there was no lead-in to it."

But Baird thinks the wind has eased off slightly. He and a mate have no power so are having "a romantic dinner by candlelight".

OPOTIKI:

"I live opotiki The winds stop and go. There no power at all My mum Shan butler told me that she still has power so she's luck. We are pretty much sitting in the dark with Candles on nothing to as most of our phones are out to die." Scarlette Quarrie 9.05pm


OHOPE:

"Have been evacuated from our home in Ohope. Thanks to Mayor Bonne for taking us in for the night. Stay safe and dry everyone!" - MP Anne Tolley - 7.30pm

WHAKATANE:

"The wind outside in Whakatane tonight is absolutely unreal - and, living in Wellington, I know a thing or two about wind! #CycloneCook" Lauren Hayes - 7.31pm

Large tree that has fallen onto a building in the Main Street of Whakatane as the full force of Cyclone Cook is felt in the Bay of Plenty. Photo / Alan Gibson
Large tree that has fallen onto a building in the Main Street of Whakatane as the full force of Cyclone Cook is felt in the Bay of Plenty. Photo / Alan Gibson

WHAKATANE:

"Am located in Whakatane, at river mouth, wind appears to have eased, surf sounds enormous, we are totally in the dark, power has been off for two hours," Wiremu Doherty - 9.20pm

NAPIER:

"The wind in Napier has picked up a lot and continuous, Heavy rain now falling." Beverly - 7.25pm

"Power out in large parts of Napier. Massive winds. Trees down." Malcolm Davie - 8.07pm

"I was taking a break from work (the Napier Warehouse) when the Noel Leeming sign was rattling. I knew it was soon to fall off due to the strong winds, then it fell, a bit after the next part fell too." Elsie Slee - 8.00-8.30pm.

HASTINGS:

"Power out in some parts of Hastings with wicked wind." Darren Ausin - 8.28pm

HASTINGS: 8.57pm

John Fullwood of Hastings is sitting in the dark reminiscing about the storm that sank the Wahine 49 years ago.

"I was in Wellington during the Wahine storm, and that came at night as well. I had to drive over a fallen tree in my driveway to get out the next morning. There were trees down everywhere, I was teaching at the time and when I got to school we sent all the children home. It was raining in the corridor harder than it rains outside most days."

That storm happened at night, as well. "Earlier that day at 5pm, it was as calm as you'd ever imagine. That's what it was like today - a very eerie calm."

Power went out around 8pm in Hastings this evening. Fullwood heard sirens in nearby Havelock North and suspects some trees have fallen on the lines. He and his brother have only their cellphones for light.

"There have been very strong winds, and heavy showers coming across," he says. "You can look out the window here and see the tall trees bending over in the wind."

The storm hit earlier than the predicted 9pm, leaving Fullwood fearing there is worse to come. "We're wondering now if this is just the front of it."

Fullwood was trying to shut the back door while speaking with the Herald. "I'm pushing hard against it, but you'd think there's somebody on the other side pushing it. It's something I haven't experienced in Hawke's Bay."

HASTINGS:

"Very heavy winds in Hastings has knocked a tree down in our yard and many branches are also being blown off other trees. Our pergola but the dust as well." Terrence Bull - 9.44

HASTINGS:

"All quiet here now in Hastings after being completely hammered with huge winds and rain. Both rain and wind have gone entirely. Deadly quiet now." Ben Bryant - 11.31pm

"Roofs blown off in Hawke's Bay" - Paul Curel, 1.22am

HAVELOCK NORTH:

"Power lines down and trees down all around the village. Dangerous driving conditions. No power in most areas" Ian Shears - 11.05pm

THORNTON:

"We are in Thornton about 6km from Edgecumbe and the wind was a lot stronger than 100km/h more like 150km/h it was lifting our boat on it's trailer off the ground and moved it very scary!!! Went outside to check and there were stars in the sky now the winds back. Conflicting reports on media whether it's made landfall here on not? Been without power since 6.15. Roll on tomorrow!!!" - Tasha said at 7.53pm


Recap all the Cyclone Cook updates from throughout the day: