ROME, FEBRUARY 19 – The death toll from cyclone Gabrielle in New Zealand has risen to 11 and the government fears that the damage, still to be quantified exactly, will be in the billions. Finance Minister Grant Robertson said in an interview with local media on Sunday. Robertson said he expects figures comparable to those of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, which cost about NZ$13 billion, or about €7.6 billion. “It is clear that the devastation of infrastructure, homes and businesses is very significant,” acknowledged the minister. The cyclone destroyed orchards, vineyards and agricultural crops in some of New Zealand’s most productive regions. Roads were damaged and thousands of residents were left without electricity and water. (HANDLE).
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