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Data, Topography

New high-resolution, satellite imagery providing a birds-eye view of Cyclone Gabrielle’s impact on the North Island’s east coast is now available online as part of the emergency response.

The satellite imagery covers about one-third of the North Island and is available to the public via the Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) Basemaps and LINZ Data Service online platforms. It provides detailed, post-cyclone imagery of the Hawke’s Bay, Tairāwhiti and Tararua districts. 

LINZ worked closely with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Hawke’s Bay Regional and Gisborne District councils, and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to understand which data would be most useful to cyclone recovery efforts. The resulting satellite imagery was taken shortly after the cyclone, showing the impact of flooding and landslides.

Satellite imagery of the Hawke's Bay before and after Cyclone Gabrielle.

Before and after: The image on the left shows the area around Mohaka River, Te Haroto, before Cyclone Gabrielle. The image on the right is the same area captured shortly after the cyclone – on 21 February 2023 – clearly showing the resulting landslips and flood damage. Image credit: LINZ Basemaps 

“Being able to see cyclone-hit areas in great detail is useful for those involved in the response and recovery – such as local and central government agencies, farmers, community groups and industry boards,” says LINZ Head of Location Information Aaron Jordan.

“Users can zoom in to see detailed pictures of how flooding caused by Cyclone Gabrielle has impacted local infrastructure such as houses, roads and communities. Analysing this information helps with making decisions. 

“Collecting, maintaining and sharing land information is our core business and we’re pleased to be able to support affected communities in this way as they recover from this devastating weather event.”

MPI Director of Forestry Insights Debbie Ward says the imagery will provide vital information to enable detailed assessment of the damage.

“It will be useful for multiple agencies both in the recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle and also modelling for future risks and mitigation,” she says. 

Our new satellite imagery complements an earlier release of aerial photography commissioned by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and captured via an aeroplane - also available via LINZ Data Service.

Cyclone Gabrielle hit the northern part of the North Island on 12 February and tracked down the east coast, inflicting widespread devastation. 

More information on changes to our services and requirements in response to Cyclone Gabrielle.

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