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Bay of Plenty Civil Defence and other local emergency response staff are on standby to swing into action if needed as Cyclone Hola heads towards New Zealand.
Hola has rapidly intensified to a Category 4 storm and could reach Category 5 today, with winds up to 300km/h as it batters Vanuatu, then heads towards New Zealand.
MetService said Hola would continue moving south-southeast over the weekend and was expected to transition into an "extra-tropical" cyclone before approaching the upper-North Island late Sunday into Monday.