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Violent weather lashed Taranaki and other North Island regions last night with gales, thunderstorms and even a small tornado.

Taranaki Weather Watch reporter John Blackman says 14 metres of hoarding from a large building site blew out on to New Plymouth’s main street overnight.   Wind also blew out a window and the fire service was called in to help secure a roof which was damaged in the wind.

An Italian exchange student has a broken leg after strong winds blew her into a van in New Plymouth yesteday.

Head weather analyst Philip Duncan warns the public across Central New Zealand must take extreme care today.  “We warned yesterday that this storm could cause harm to property and life.  This is a nasty storm and today is looking just as dangerous”.

Reports have also come in that a small tornado flattened farm sheds in coastal Taranaki.

“Winds have eased to around 65 km/h in New Plymouth but further north along Auckland’s west coast gusts are reaching 105km/h and should increase throughout the day”.

Mr Duncan says the deep low didn’t make landfall last night , as expected, and is instead sliding up the South Island’s West Coast this morning.  “It will make landfall later today then quickly slide across central New Zealand and out into the Pacific”

Mr Duncan warns that the storm surge around the eye of the storm could cause beach erosion and giant waves from Kapiti to Taranaki.


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