Whakatāne District Council Civil Defence staff are advising people who live or work in close proximity to the escarpments in Whakatāne, Ōhope and Matatā to be alert for possible slips.

Depending on location, between 120 and 200 mm of rain has fallen in the last 24 hours, and similar falls are predicted through to 6 am Thursday.

Past experience has highlighted that slips often occur when rainfall exceeds 100 mm, and particularly when soil is already sodden, as is the case now. Residents are advised to check escarpment faces on or close to their properties for any signs of tree or soil movement, and if there is evidence of movement, to alert the Council or emergency services.

As a precaution, people can avoid sleeping in rooms closest to escarpments tonight, and anyone who is concerned about their safety can also consider self-evacuation until the weather system passes.

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