Watch: Incredible moment lightning strikes tree, explodes

Author
Belinda Feek,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 4 December 2018, 11:19a.m.

Blockhouse Bay resident Amy Buncuga got the fright of her life this morning when she was filming the storm outside her bedroom window.

The thunder and lightning had woken her up so she pulled out her phone. As she recorded the huge downpour a massive lightning strike hit a tree on her neighbour's property.

"I shat myself," she told the Herald.

Image: Amy Buncuga
Image: Amy Buncuga

"I was so surprised I got that. It was so close … I thought I'd try get some cool lightning videos and I got that. I screamed so loud."

Buncuga had experienced thunder and lightning before but said this was the closest she'd ever been.

A lightning strike that hit Blockhouse Bay at 8:23am as an intense storm swept across Auckland. Photo / Amy Buncuga
A lightning strike that hit Blockhouse Bay at 8:23am as an intense storm swept across Auckland. Photo / Amy Buncuga

"I'm pretty scared of thunder and lightning … but that's probably the scariest thing I've seen that involves lightning."

She said the lightning hit her neighbour's tree however it didn't appear to have been burnt.

But she had not braved going on to the property to see if it had impacted the ground.

The torrential rain continued for about 45 minutes, she said.

Buncuga hadn't spoken to her elderly neighbours about whether they knew the lightning bolt had struck the tree but she hoped to catch up with them at some stage today.

Image / Amy Buncuga
Image / Amy Buncuga

The storm which pummelled Auckland this morning also saw a woman taken to hospital after a lightning strike in Māngere, caused the airport to stop refuelling planes, flights to be cancelled and delayed, and houses to shake.

Just after 8am Auckland Airport issued a lightning alert which meant refuelling of all aircraft had to be halted, a spokesman said.

More than 800 lightning strikes have also knocked out power to some rural parts of Auckland.

Just after 9am it was announced flights had been given the all clear to resume although there would be delays or cancellations as planes which had been struck by lightning were checked.

A Vector spokeswoman said the lightning strikes had caused power outages in some rural areas of Auckland.

"High levels of energy injected into Vector's network by some of the lightning strikes have caused the network to trip in some northern, western and eastern suburbs, including Whangaparaoa, Piha, Laingholm, Oratia, Helensville, Maraetai and Clevedon."

West Auckland residents have reported a "huge thunder and lightning" storm was now lashing the area.

"The lights are flickering, the house is shaking. There are continuous lightning strikes and heavy rain falling," one said.

Henderson Valley School has no electricity or phones and is closed today.

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