Cyclone Gabrielle: Full extent of destruction in Piha revealed with houses destroyed, cliffs torn apart

The beachside village of Piha in Auckland might never be the same after Cyclone Gabrielle decimated the area, ripping cliffs apart and destroying homes. 

Marine Parade South was once a picturesque seaside strip, and now it is a broken road lined with red-stickered homes.

"Families are devastated but everyone's just holding their heads high and doing the best that they can do," said Piha Resident, Joel Macreadie.

A metre and a half of water still remains on some of the sites.

Joel Mcreadie spent Thursday trying to get rid of the water from his home at the top of the street with a hired pump.

"Well, the first half of our property is underwater. And then as you can see there are all the slips down the back. So we've got a mountain to climb here," Mcreadie told Newshub.

Meanwhile, over on Piha's Garden Road, the destruction became more evident.

Parts of the street are still underwater and nearby the main route into the village continues to crumble.

"These slips are still dynamic, they're still active, they're still moving. There's boulders the size of cars coming out of hills and smashing into peoples' houses," said Piha Surf Lifesaving Club Custodian Paul Newnham.

Meanwhile, shaken homeowners are trying to salvage what they can but there is simply too much water.

"I feel primarily we have everything under control, apart from pumps... heavy duty industrial pumping systems," said Piha contractor Willie Beggs.

"We need a lot of 2Degrees sim cards, and we need them with money on them so that people don't need to worry about topping them up, we don't have credit cards, we need people to be able to connect with each other," added Piha resident Jenene Crossan.

After midnight last night, a mass evacuation occurred along Piha's Rayner Rd as threats of slips continued.

"I think the most frustrating thing is we've had sporadic cellphone coverage, no internet, no power, and there's kind of been no main point of contact," said Piha evacuee Lee Macmillian.

Those in recovery mode tell us the wild west is used to mother nature's force but nothing like this.

"This is just incomparable and nothing comes close, I don't know what to say mate," said Macreadie.

A community coming together but with a mammoth task ahead.