I have been silent for the last 18 hours, as our electricity supplies (and with it, my internet access) have been down for most of that time. Horizon Energy only just managed to restore the power supply about an hour ago.
Thankfully, the danger has now passed.
However, the cleanup has only just begun; this storm caused extensive damage to the district's infrastructure. Many of the roads have been blocked with windfallen trees and / or landslides. This includes all the main highways. Extensive outlying areas are still without electricity, and water conservsation measures are in place, with some localities having to boil their water. Much of the damage to the power supply network has been caused by trees being blown down across power lines. I guess this is rather inevitable in a district where forestry and timber are major industries!
As far as I am aware, though (so far, at least), there have been no fatalities caused by this storm.
I formerly lived in Australia (Queensland, then later Tasmania). However, since the beginning of last year, I have been living in the Eastern Bay of Plenty area of New Zealand's North Island (an employment-driven move). The Bay of Plenty area usually has a rather mild climate. However, this month, it has received the tail end of no less than two Tropical Cyclones.
Only a week ago, it received a deluge from the tail end of Tropical Cyclone "Debbie", which had already caused extensive destruction across much of Queensland. This caused serious flooding across the district, and led to the evacuation of an entire town of 2000 people.
These floodwaters had only just begun to recede when another cyclone, "Cook", swept down across Vanuatu and hit the entire length of New Zealand with its tail. Once more, it seemed like the Bay of Plenty area was going to catch the worst of it, and everybody prepared for another disaster. However, cyclones are not always predictable, and the heaviest rains actually fell to the west of us. At least those who had already been evacuated from their homes were spared the ordeal of a second flood! All the damage in this this district was caused by strong wind gusts; but again, this was not nearly as bad as first feared.
As an aside, in this part of the world, the tropical cyclones are spawned in the Coral Sea, and then usually sweep along Queensland (sometimes also northern New South Wales) before often swinging off on a south-easterly course and striking the top of New Zealand's north Island. By this time, they have usually abated into "Tropical Storms", but are still quite destructive - as happened back in 1968, when ex-tropical Cyclone "Giselle" caused the sinking of the inter-island ferry Wahine, with the loss of 51 lives.
Anyway, yesterday everybody prepared for a disaster. Today, nobody is regretful that things didn't turn out as bad as first feared!