Air New Zealand warns of flight disruptions as Cyclone Gita bears down

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MetService says the very worst of the weather is likely over, and conditions are expected to ease as Gita moves away on Wednesday.

The now category three cyclone has caused havoc in the Pacific, destroying house, flooding homes and businesses knocking out communications in Samoa, Tonga and Fiji islands.

North Otago is on watch for heavy rain from ex-tropical cyclone Gita and MetService says the effects of the storm could be felt even further south.

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"When it's looking like it's going to cross, we'll get in touch with the Fiji Meteorological Service and start issuing the warnings once it crosses into our area".

Ms Griffiths said she is concerned about the wind the storm will bring.

"Parts of the South Island and lower North Island up to 130km p/h". Upon this declaration, a direct request from the Tongan government went to New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Division for Foreign Affairs of the Australian government for initial support and non-food items relief supplies.

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On Friday, the Fiji Meteorological Service said Gita was expected to pass to the south of Vanuatu and New Caledonia overnight Friday.

Air New Zealand warned on Monday that flights in and out of New Zealand faced major disruptions this week due to Cyclone Gita, set to hit the country on Tuesday, and encouraged passengers to defer travelling.

"There is high confidence of severe gales and heavy rain spreading across central and northern New Zealand on Tuesday and Wednesday". "Gita is also forecast to bring strong winds, especially in exposed places".

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