Thames-Coromandel mayor Len Salts says his decision to call a pre-emptive declaration of emergency was on based on concern for vulnerable communities.
The state of emergency was declared at 1.35pm on Friday.
“The reason I have done this is because we have an unfolding situation with vulnerable communities, vulnerable people and an emerging situation where we have the potential for land slips and further erosion that we need to manage,” he said.
He said the main area affected was the west coast, the Thames Coast, from Ruamahunga northward.
“By declaring a state of emergency we are empowering our agencies and our emergency support services and our staff to be able to manage this situation in a way that protects property and keeps people safe and out of harm’s way.”
Salts said the situation was weather dependent and would depend to some degree on the extent to which the damage that had already been done by water and rainfall continued to make the hills and catchment areas vulnerable to further slips.
“There is some rain expected over the weekend, but we’re hoping for some fine weather to settle the situation down to some degree,” he said.
The east coast is less affected and can be accessed from the south, but the situation can change at short notice.
Local residents are being advised to keep up-to-date with road conditions and take care while driving.
To find out which local roads and state highways are closed, visit the [www.tcdc.govt.nz/roads Thames Coromandel District Council website].
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz