Less than two months ago Prince Harry visited Whanganui, New Zealand, the district was hit by the worst flood to affect the area over the weekend. The largest flood on record has created widespread damage with a further 300 people not yet being able to return to their homes.
Upon hearing the news of the tragedy, Prince Harry sent a message of support and condolence to Whanganui District Council Mayor Annette Main, which she shared on her Facebook page.
“Prince Harry has been very concerned to see the extent of the flooding which has affected the Whanganui area in recent days,”
“His Royal Highness hopes that all those whose homes have been directly affected are safe and sends his very best wishes to them and to all the emergency workers supporting them. The Prince’s thoughts are with you all at this difficult time.”
She went on to say it was “a lovely message from our favourite prince”.
The floodwaters caused over 6000 properties to lose power during the worst times. The local power company, Powerco has confirmed that approximately 270 Whanganui and Taranaki customers are still cut off. However, the township of Waitotara, which was evacuated on Saturday, has had their power restored.
Powerco has said that as long as the predicted decent weather holds out for the next few days, contractors should be able to restore full power to the remaining customers.
Civil Defence is continuing to identify and provide and necessary assistance to the rural residents who have been stranded due to washed out roads. Helicopters have been delivering food parcels and medication.
Prince Harry’s visit to the region came as part of his New Zealand tour earlier this year. His welcome to the area came with a traditional Powhiri welcome, which included the challenge, a call for welcome and speeches by the welcoming iwi, finished with a prayer.
Later in the day, Prince Harry joined on the Whanganui River upon a waka- a traditional canoe and was gifted the hand-carved paddle he used. His arrival was marked by the call of a conch shell.
The Prince also spent time at a reception for local veterans held at the Whanganui’s War Memorial Centre. A centre was built to remember the 375 men from Whanganui, who lost their lives during World War Two.
Photo credit: Emily Nash @eynash