Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Cyclone Gabrielle over New Zealand on February 14, 2023. The relentless storm has caused deadly flooding and landslides, and 1,400 people are missing.
Officials have declared a national state of emergency, which has only happened twice before in the country’s history.
“Cyclone Gabrielle encountered New Zealand as a powerful subtropical storm after transitioning from a tropical cyclone,” says NASA.
“Rainfall from the still-powerful storm began falling on the island nation on February 11 and continued for the next several days. Accumulations at Napier Airport (Hawke’s Bay Airport) reached 175.8 millimeters over a 24-hour period from February 13-14. That’s more than three times the average amount typically seen during the entire month of February.”
Even as the storm began to move away from New Zealand on February 15, heavy rainfall warnings were still in effect. Hundreds of thousands of people have been left without electricity, and at least 10,000 people have been displaced.
“The drenching rains in February follow a storm that hit the country in late January,” says NASA. “During that storm, parts of Auckland saw all-time daily rainfall records, which contributed to the city’s wettest January on record.”
The image was captured by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
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