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Tornado sweeps through upper South Island

Apr 10, 2023

Firefighters are responding to calls for help after a tornado in the Tasman District near Nelson earlier on Monday afternoon.

The tornado swept through about 1.20pm - which is about 16 hours after another tornado caused damage to properties in East Auckland on Sunday night.

Fire and Emergency NZ said about 12 houses either had lifted roofs or have lost their roofs entirely, mostly in the Upper Moutere area.

A tree fell onto a car with a person inside in Māpua, but they escaped with minor abrasions.

There have also been reports of a tree falling onto power lines and a tree falling across a driveway.

In Auckland, trees snapped and fences were torn down as extreme winds powered through Golflands to East Tāmaki, including Tamaki Heights, Flatbush and Huntington Park about 9pm.

A Civil Defence centre was set up at Howick Leisure Centre on Sunday night, but officials said no-one required emergency accommodation.

Fire and Emergency incident controller David McKeown said fire crews responded to about 50 requests for assistance and deployed special vehicles with salvage equipment.

Some properties lost tiles from roofs, and windows were damaged by falling trees.

No-one had been reported as injured, McKeown said.

Two siblings were out in East Tāmaki on Monday, helping their grandfather clean up.

"I'm just here helping my poppa fix his fence and a bit of other damage he has had on his house. He gave me a ring about 9.30 saying he needs a hand tomorrow, a tornado has ripped through.

"His fence is down and some other stuff. It could've been a lot worse, seems like it's been worse in other places."

A local resident said the tornado was "frightening".

"It's just a few seconds, not shaking, but the wind, I've never experienced before.

"My cats were jumping around, they got freaked out."

A tree dangles over Te Irirangi Road in Auckland's East Tāmaki following a tornado. Photo: RNZ / Felix Walton

Meanwhile, a damp end to the Easter holiday weekend is expected with Taranaki, Nelson, Marlborough and Westland under heavy rain warnings.

MetService said another 40 to 60 millimetres of rain was expected in Taranaki until 3pm, with thunderstorms possible.

A similar amount of rain was likely for Marlborough and Nelson until 6pm.

Westland's rain warning was valid until 11pm on Tuesday.

Waka Kotahi was urging holidaymakers returning home to drive to the conditions and be aware they will inevitably face some delays with temporary traffic management and lower speed restrictions in some areas.

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