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Salvos swing into action to help New Zealand flood victims

Salvos swing into action to help New Zealand flood victims

Salvos swing into action to help New Zealand flood victims

19 April 2017

The Bay of Plenty region, New Zealand, was the worst affected in the aftermath of two recent cyclones. Photo courtesy NewspixNZ

By MAJOR CHRISTINA TYSON

The Salvation Army in New Zealand was called into action to help people caught up in the flooding in the Bay of Plenty region on 6 April, as the tail-end of Cyclone Debbie made landfall.

The town of Edgecumbe was the worst affected, with 2000 people evacuated after the Rangitaiki River burst its banks.

The Whakatane Corps building was opened as an emergency centre for Edgecumbe residents. Corps Officer Captain Phil Mellsop said they hosted about 40 people who had been evacuated and a further 20 who came looking for information and assistance.

“We were taking in people, registering them and ensuring they had somewhere to stay,” he said.

“We got the whole melting pot - families, elderly, people with animals. It was a safe place where people could come and be provided with shelter and food.”

The corps also provided food at the local Memorial Hall, which was also used as an evacuation centre.

A week later, on the cusp of Easter, Cyclone Cook brought more strong winds to New Zealand, causing further flooding, landslips, fallen trees and power cuts.

The Bay of Plenty was again severely affected and The Salvation Army continued to serve affected residents with food and psychosocial support.

 

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