Fatalities after a tornado ripped through Auckland today, turning cars upside down and causing a shopping mall roof to collapse.
Police say the tornado ripped the roof off the Albany Megacentre shopping mall in North Shore City about 3pm (1pm AEST). A St John Ambulance spokeswoman confirmed two people were killed, while Radio New Zealand reported that a third person had died. Police said the tornado ripped part of the roof off the Albany Megacentre shopping mall in the city’s north, flipping cars, uprooting trees and sending shoppers running for safety. The tornado left a 5km trail of debris as it moved south, eventually dying out as it neared central Auckland. Witnesses said the tornado sounded like “a giant vacuum cleaner” when it tore across the Albany Megacentre. Witness Rob Crawford said the scene resembled a disaster movie.
Video also at the Herald Sun — > Video
Tornadoes are not unheard of in NZ (brief history), but usually they are weak and short-lived. However, a powerful hybrid-tropical/extratropical cyclone has been spinning in the Tasman Sea leading to the threat of severe thunderstorms.