The prime minister of New Zealand says he expects more deaths as a result of a violent storm that killed eight people and cut off hundreds of communities.
More than 4,500 people have yet to be contacted after Cyclone Gabrielle hit the North Island on Monday, causing significant flooding and landslides.
Many cities and towns also lack power and safe drinking water.
Only the third national state of emergency has been declared in New Zealand’s history.
“This is without a doubt the worst natural disaster we’ve seen in this century,” Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said.
Hundreds of mobile phone masts were damaged by the storm, and Mr Hipkins believes that many of the thousands of uncontactable people will be found alive and well. He did, however, warn that people should “brace themselves” for more fatalities.
It is also estimated that 10,000 people have been displaced.