More homes in Auckland have been left isolated with nearly two dozen properties cut off by a fresh slip on a key West Auckland hill road amid pleas for sightseers to stay away from a popular storm-wrecked beach community.
It comes as a new evacuation order has been issued for Muriwai residents after Auckland Council told all residents still occupying homes on Domain Cres to leave immediately this morning.
Auckland Emergency Management said in a 1pm update that a number of the region’s parks were closed and access to west coast communities was “severely compromised” due to landslips.
An urgent notice asking Domain Cres, Muriwai residents to evacuate immediately, Auckland Emergency Management deputy controller Rachel Kelleher said.
Waitematā police district commander Naila Hassan asked people not to go out to the west coast as a number of roads had sustained slip damage.
That was so that emergency and repair crews could get through unimpeded to do the vital work of supporting and reconnecting these communities.
“The best thing you can do ... is stay away.”
“Please do not put yourselves and others at risk.”
Police would be patrolling the area, Hassan said.
She urged Aucklanders to take it easy on the roads.
One driver near Helensville was found to be around four times over the legal breath alcohol limit yesterday and Hassan called this “very disappointing”.
A total of 2600 homes in the Auckland region have been significantly impacted and 8000 properties are still without power.
STORY CONTINUES AFTER LIVE BLOG:
Officials were also working with partner agencies to ensure areas were getting supplies they needed as well as response teams on the ground conducting welfare checks.
At a community briefing last night Piha residents were told around 200 food parcels were being sent to the seaside community today as the residents banded together to share daily meals at the surf lifesaving club.
They were also told even though the slips on Piha Rd were expected to be cleared the route would stay closed on the Auckland Transport website to minimise the number of cars travelling to the hard-hit beach community.
Earlier today officials said 12 tonnes of supplies have now been delivered by air and ground to residents in cut-off Karekare and Piha.
It included water, food, baby and sanitary items, medicine, a generator for Karekare, portable toilets and a satellite phone.
It said the focus remained on those communities isolated by landslides and flooding such as Piha, Karekare, Bethells Beach and Muriwai.
“You’ll see some media rolling out soon from police saying technically if you’re not a resident don’t come out,” a community meeting was told last night.
“We’re broken. We’ve had tourists coming out having a look so we’re really trying to minimise the number of cars that are coming out.”
A community volunteer said that the road was passable for residents but the slips were regarded as “dynamic” and there were still risks involved travelling past them.
“Be mindful there are parts of the road where you are going to have to cross onto the other side of the road,” he said.
Fresh cracks were still appearing on Rayner Rd in the beachside settlement and that road remained off limits.
“Whilst we walked the road the engineer pointed out a crack on the road and said that crack wasn’t there three hours ago.”
A geotechnical analysis would take place today.
In the meantime residents were continuing to share meals at the Piha Surf Lifesaving club rooms.
Volunteer organiser Jenene Crossan told the meeting that they had enough food to get through the coming days with donations from within the local community.
“We have enough food already to get us through the next few days at least but it’s not going to be gourmet the whole way through but we don’t want you cooking at home with food that’s rotten,” she said.
People were urged to keep off the roads rather than travel into the city to do groceries.
Surf club custodian Paul Newnham said there had been a substantial diesel donation from surf lifesaving sponsor BP to run the generator as long as needed.
“What we’re trying to do is provide you with the basic comforts of normal life.”
He warned that lifeguards would not be on duty this weekend due to the state of emergency. If any were on the beach they would be performing an observational role.
“I think we need to be as a community mindful of that and look out for people on the beach.”
Crossan said the community was still in the throes of getting on to the priority list with an Auckland Emergency Management representative due to come to the beach today.
This morning New Lynn MP Deborah Russell posted a communication from Auckland Transport detailing the major problems across the district’s roads including an overslip that was now isolating 20 households on Scenic Drive.
Piha Rd was expected to have both lanes opened by today but in neighbouring Karekare Rd access was still closed.
While crews had reached the community at the bottom of the hill the access was still closed with more work to take place around water management and removing slop off the road.
“Today there will be a geotechnical assessment completed by AT Engineers. We have managed to clear the 8 slips leading up to the house that is blocking the road. Beyond the house are 4 more overslips. We have made a start at pushing material over to get a lane open.”
“Late yesterday we were advised of a new overslip on Scenic Drive which is isolating 20 households.
“We have a 14-tonne digger and 6 trucks attending this site today. We also have a crew working on clearing the slip at 275 Scenic Drive, with one digger and two trucks, the advisory read.