New Zealand battered by machine gun tornado – PerthNow

Posted: May 21, 2022 at 7:07 pm

The New Zealand town of Levin has been lashed by a tornado, destroying powerlines and crops, and unearthing trees.

A low pressure system passing to New Zealands south has brought a number of fronts packed with severe gale-force winds, thunderstorms and hail on Friday.

In Cambridge, east of Hamilton, Newshub reports a woman needed rescuing after she was trapped and seriously injured by a falling tree.

In Levin, around 100km north of Wellington, residents were left shaken and tallying the damage bill when a thunderstorm produced chaos around 6:30am NZST.

Footage on social media shows fences knocked down and buildings and roofs damaged.

Levin resident Tyson Sager told NZ Herald he jumped out of bed and looked out the window and I saw my mates car flying backwards down the road.

It was a red station wagon and it was just flying down the road and the wind was blowing it like nothing.

Deputy Mayor Jo Mason told Newshub the central town had suffered significant damage.

There have been minor injures with glass flying.

I didnt know it was a tornado ... its unbelievable, she added.

Some of the towns main streets are flooded, while huge trees and power-lines lay strewn on others.

Police have confirmed the formation of a tornado.

With a heavy smell of gas in the air, police closed State Highway 1 to investigate and clear damage.

We will have staff in Levin today providing community reassurance and assisting with any clean-up, a police spokesman said.

Tornados are semi-common in New Zealand, with meteorological agency NIWA reporting 7-10 occur each year.

In June 2021, an Auckland port worker was killed on the job when a tornado passed through the citys southern suburbs.

Heavy hail landed in nearby Ohau, where farmer Jay Clarke said the damage looked like someone got a machine gun out and shot a machine gun at every single cabbage, silverbeet or lettuce in the paddock.

Were looking at the worst hail damage in 44 years of growing in the district. Catastrophic would be the only word to describe it, he told Radio NZ.

Theres nothing left of the crop.

Further north on Friday, Aucklands Harbour Bridge has been closed due to heavy crosswinds topping 95km an hour.

On South Island, fronts associated with the low pressure system have brought the first major snow of the season.

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New Zealand battered by machine gun tornado - PerthNow

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