New Zealand is bracing itself as Cyclone Cook approaches our coastline.
The New Zealand MetService says it has not seen a storm like Cyclone Cook since the one in 1968 that sunk the Wahine, killing 52 passengers.
A low-pressure system is due to bring heavy rain and gales to large parts of the country until Friday. A severe weather warning is in place.
The Thames-Coromandel District has declared a civil defence emergency ahead of the storm. it has also warned holidaymakers to stay away for the next few days.
The Ministry of Education advised 94 schools and 130 early learning centres to close tomorrow. The affected areas are: Eastern Bay of Plenty, Great Barrier Island, Waiheke Island, Thames and Coromandel.
MetService are warning people that some areas could experience up to 250mm of rain in the 48 hours from midday Wednesday, gusts of 150km/h or more, large waves in excess of 5m and storm surges.