Cyclone Gita live updates: Strong winds and heavy rain batter New Zealand

Seven provinces of New Zealand are in a state of emergency as the remnants of Cyclone Gita bear down, bringing howling winds and torrential rain.

Here's what we know:

  • State of emergency declared in Christchurch, Buller District, Grey District, Selwyn, Westland, Tasman and Taranaki
  • Civil Defence staff have been pre-deployed to the areas that will be worst affected
  • More than 40 tourists were trapped in buses in Whataroa overnight, two hours south of Greymouth
  • More than fifty schools and daycare centres closed on Tuesday with some expected to close on Wednesday too
  • Flights and trains have been cancelled, and SH1 north of Kaikoura is closed
  • State Highway 6 has been closed from Westport to Greymouth and from Hokitika to Franz Josef Glacier
  • State Highway 60 has been closed from Riwaka to Tākaka
  • Riwaka residents have been evacuated as the river is near to bursting its banks

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