New Zealanders were bracing for a second major storm in just over a week as the remnants of Cyclone Cook bore down on the South Pacific nation.

Civil defense authorities on Thursday advised people in low-lying areas on the North Island's Coromandel peninsula to evacuate to higher ground. Air New Zealand suspended flights from Tauranga Airport and the military placed 500 troops on standby.

The worst of the weather was expected to hit Thursday afternoon through Friday night. The MetService weather agency predicted rainfall could exceed 100 millimeters (4 inches) in some places. The service predicted winds could gust to 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour and waves of over 5 meters (16 feet) would hit the coast.

Last Thursday the remnants of Cyclone Debbie flooded some towns.