Severe gales for central NZ overnight

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Gale force winds will rise to severe gale (120km/h) overnight tonight through central predicts the government forecaster, which today issued wind warnings for lower North Island and upper South Island regions.

Thunderstorms moving across western NZ tonight

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Thunderstorms are tonight moving into western parts of New Zealand, mainly Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu, Nelson and the West Coast - watch for squalls, sudden torrential downpours and a low risk of tornadoes (EF0 or EF1 rating).

Waikato and Waitomo are also at risk of thunderstorms this evening, although severe ones are not expected.

Auckland Civil Defence - Tornado update

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The Auckland Civil Defence Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) has transitioned from response to recovery following the tornado that struck Albany yesterday afternoon.

If people require welfare assistance or information about buildings or properties damaged by the tornado they can call 0800 463 010.

Students due just minutes after tornado

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The tornado struck Glenfield College and scattered pine trees across a road just minutes before students would have been walking underneath them.

Glenfield College principal Ted Benton said no one was injured at the school but the outcome could have been much worse.

"We were very lucky no one was out on the road."

Auckland Civil Defence - Tornado update

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The latest information regarding death toll, injuries, road closures, bus timetables, power outages and damage from Auckalnd Civil Defence, issued 11:05pm, Tuesday.

Tornado risk abates but rough weather not finished

Filed in: and Metservice forecasters have this evening both downgraded the chance of further serious tornados following today's likely EF2 rated tornado.

Earlier today estimated winds were averaging 200km/h within the Albany tornado but this evening raised that wind speed to 220km/h after more damage reports came in.

Video: Philip Duncan discusses Albany's tornado

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Philip Duncan discusses the tornado that ripped through Albany on Tuesday with

Tornado winds estimated around 200km/h

Filed in: says today's terrifying tornado which hit Albany most likely had winds averaging 200km/h.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says damaging tornados of this strength are fairly rare in New Zealand but do occur every few years.

Evacuations continue in Hawkes Bay

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A further 10 people have been evacuated from coastal areas in Hawke's Bay.

Eight people have been rescued from Mangakuri by police and council four wheel drives.

A helicopter has also picked up two teenage boys from Aramoana Beach.

Central Hawke's Bay District Council Emergency Officer Bruce Kitto says everyone who wanted to be evacuated has now been brought out.

Hawke's Bay flooding "worse than Bola"

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Hawke's Bay farmers face stock losses as rain continues to pound the region.

Federated Farmers said a number of inland farms had been severely inundated and stock had almost certainly been lost.

Farms well inland from Napier had been drenched by 200mm of rain with one station near Waipawa, recording 500mm, its statement said.