Months after Cyclone Gabrielle, eight million metric tons of sediment is still lying in the devastated Esk Valley. While the clean-up continues, top scientists from around the country are in Hawke’s Bay to understand how the region can better prepare for future extreme climate events. And Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall announced a $10.8 million fund for urgent scientific research. The science team will work on mapping out the landslides to generate future prediction models so that the next time there’s a rainfall event and this data will be used to better predict where the landslides will occur and how far they’ll run out. Scientists believe natural disasters like Cyclone Gabrielle are going to become more frequent and Niwa natural hazards scientist Graeme Smart says warning people about floods is a priority as with adequate warning, you can be prepared, and can evacuate. Smart said the stopbanks in Hawke’s Bay were well-built, but the flood was bigger than anyone anticipated.
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