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New Zealand weather, cyclone stormsFreak tornado kills 3 in New Zealand
Dec, 6, 2012 AUCKLAND: A freak tornado hit Auckland Thursday killing three people and causing "utter devastation" as wild weather ripped apart homes and caused flash flooding in New Zealand's largest city.
The storm, packing gusts of more than 110 kilometres (70 miles) per hour, struck suburban Hobsonville in the afternoon, toppling trees, ripping roofs from houses and sending debris flying.
Civil Defence said three people died and seven were hospitalised, with two of the fatalities believed to have been caused by a concrete slab that landed on the cabin of a truck and the other by a falling tree.
About 150 homes were badly damaged, many rendered uninhabitable, forcing residents into temporary accommodation at a nearby air force base.
Resident Suzanne McFadden said the storm roared through in "five minutes of utter devastation".
Police urged people to stay indoors as flash floods blocked roads and falling trees brought down power lines, blacking out about 1,300 homes.
The Metservice weather agency said the tornado was created by a series of intense thunderstorms that lashed the city through the day, largely dissipating by early evening, although there were fears the winds could pick up overnight.
Prime Minister John Key expressed condolences to the families of the dead and praised the efforts of emergency services, who swiftly sealed off an area of about one square kilometre (0.4 square miles) that was worst affected by the tornado.
New Zealand Once-in-a-century' storm finally eases
March 5, 2014 Rain is finally starting to ease following the once-in-a-century storm that forced the evacuation of homes, caused slips and cut power to thousands of people across Canterbury.
The squall is blazing up the country, bringing gale force winds to the lower North Island.
Residents are being urged to avoid travel if possible while the Christchurch City Council scrambles to clear debris-strewn roads and help with stormwater drainage.
"Our people will be out there again tonight and the community can play their part by checking on their friends and neighbours just like they did during the earthquakes,'' Mayor Lianne Dalziel said.
The Fire Service has been inundated with calls from residents reporting damage to their homes and flooding.
They received 187 flooding-related callouts between 6am and 4pm southern fire communications shift manager Brent Dunn said.
"There was very heavy surface flooding - a lot of areas we couldn't even get to, just because it was so deep, the rivers were overflowing. It's just been a very busy day.''
MetService said 160mm of rain had fallen on Lyttelton in the past 24 hours.
Police have evacuated 19 households from three streets after a landslip above a fuel storage area at the port.
Homes in parts of Cressy Terrace, Park Terrace and Brittan Terrace were evacuated this afternoon and cordons are in place.
The evacuations were precautionary and in response to the possibility of further slips in the area.
The slip occurred earlier today below Brittan Terrace, with a cliff face collapsing into a bulk storage tank, police said.
Emergency services were confident there was no danger to residents, with the wind dispersing any lingering fumes.
An evacuation centre had been established at the council service centre in London St.
About 3500 Orion customers remained without power this afternoon, with the majority expected to stay disconnected overnight, the electricity company said.
The company had been unable to access the electricity network to restore power and the situation could remain for the next few days.
Chief executive Rob Jamieson said flooding and road closures were why engineers could not reach the power network.
"Quite simply, we cannot get to many parts of our network to repair those power lines that were damaged yesterday by falling trees.
"Coupled with rising flood waters affecting substations and kiosks, this storm is proving unique due to its ongoing and multiple impact nature.''
The majority of customers without power were around Banks Peninsula, with most of the peninsula affected. Some pockets of Christchurch and surrounding areas were also experiencing outages.
The city's airport was open, but there was a backlog of travellers with delays to some flights because of the storm affecting other parts of the country.
People were urged to contact their airline to check on flights.
KiwiRail said they were also clearing a backlog after ferry crossings were suspended yesterday because of high waves through the Cook Strait.
A spokeswoman said crossings resumed at 2pm today and they were trying to clear the extra passengers from yesterday.
Meanwhile, the storm has bustled north and Wellington was buffeted with gusts in exposed areas reaching 119km/h.
MetService spokesman John Law said the city had winds of up to 100km/h through the day.
Wind warnings were in force for Wellington, the Wairarapa and coastal Hawkes Bay.
The Insurance Council of New Zealand said residents affected directly as a result of storm or flood damage over the past couple of days should contact their insurers to have damage assessed.
If residents had to remove damaged goods from their homes or dispose of material, for instance, due to contamination that posed a risk to health, they should take photos to help inform the assessments, chief executive Tim Grafton said.
By the numbers
* About 3500 customers remain without power
* The Fire Service received 187 flooding calls;
* 160mm of rain fell in Lyttelton
* Wind gusts in exposed Wellington areas reached 119km/h
South Pacific Cyclone Pam
March 14, 2015 - Cyclone Pam 170 mph winds devastates South Pacific Vanuatu islands, kills 44. Houses in Port Vila were destroyed and people are wandering the streets looking for help. Communications are down, entire villages in remote areas destroyed.
Itís forecast to pass New Zealand on Sunday and Monday.
Cat 5 Cyclone Pam Targets New Zealand
March 15, 2015 - †Northern New Zealand braces for dangerous Cyclone Pam which devastated Vanuatu islands. †Severe weather is expected as the cyclone approaches.
It was already raining in eastern Northland and things would pick up later in the afternoon, with winds in the area reaching up to 120kmh.
But the real brunt was expected to be felt on the eastern coast of the North Island, with about 200mm of rain and winds gusting more than 160kmh possible.
The Volvo Ocean Race organisers have delayed the departure of the six-boat round the world fleet till Tuesday at the earliest. The boats were to depart on Sunday for Itajai, Brazil.
HANG ON LAZ!
March 15, 2015 - Tropical Cyclone Pam hits northern New Zealand with winds of nearly 270 kph (167 mph), the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane.
Aid is beginning to arrive in Vanuatu islands from Australia and New Zealand after the Pacific nation was hit by a monster cyclone. A communications blackout due to storm damage means little is known about conditions beyond the capital, Port Vila. But aerial images from one aid agency show many houses completely flattened. A state of emergency has been declared over 65 islands.
Cyclone Pam hits New Zealand
March 16, 2015 - Strong winds and high waves lashed the East Coast as cyclone Pam hit New Zealand. Pam swept across northeastern New Zealand bringing heavy rain but relatively little destruction. New Zealand flooding and power outages in Auckland and Northland.
Laz? You ok?