The entire town of Edgecumbe's been told to leave immediately because of a beached stop-bank.

About 2000 people live in the area.

The Red Cross is telling us the roads out of the town are becoming clogged.

People are being told to head to Kawerau and Whakatane.

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The evacuation of the Eastern Bay of Plenty town of Edgecumbe is underway.
The evacuation of the Eastern Bay of Plenty town of Edgecumbe is underway.

In Kawerau, the Firmin Lodge has been designated as the evacuation centre.

In Whakatane, people are being told to go to the Salvation Army and the War Memorial Hall.

There are no plans to close the bridge into Whakatane, but people are being urged not to stop on it.

People in Taneatua and South Whakatane need to conserve water and not flush their toilets.

People who've left Edgecumbe are also being told not to go to Whakatane Hospital looking for replacement prescription medication.

We're being told some evacuees have left their medicine at home, and are trying to get replacements from the hospital - and that's causing congestion.

The local mayor says this is a serious situation - people needing help evacuating are being told to call 111.

Buses have been leaving the fire station in Edgecumbe to get people out, and police have been going door to door.

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The Red Cross is also helping with evacuations.