Houses made inhabitable by Far North tornadoes

Publish Date
Wed, 5 Jun 2019, 5:24PM

Houses made inhabitable by Far North tornadoes

Publish Date
Wed, 5 Jun 2019, 5:24PM

Three houses at Coopers Beach have been ruled inhabitable, after a tornado hit this morning.

At least 20 homes have been damaged after strong wings swept through the region today. 

Far North mayor John Carter says a number of homes are severely damaged, and Civil Defence and Emergency services are cleaning up the wreckage.

"The roller doors, windows shattered, iron off roofs, that sort of stuff. We are doing door-to-door just to check what the state of other homes and places are."

Northern Advocate repoter Peter de Graaf told Heather du Plessis-Allan that they are through the worst of it now.

"It's big clean-up time now. People are wandering through the gardens, cleaning up debris."

He says that all the houses affected have significant damage, including shattered windows and flattened fences.

Amongst those affected are the Mokarakas, who were sitting watching TV when they heard wild winds approaching, and watched in horror as chunks of the lounge roof were whipped off.

John Mokaraka and his wife suffered minor injuries when the twister tore through the property. The couple are house sitting for his sister.

"We were watching TV and we heard the wind pick up. All we heard was a loud roar - then the windows popped and the roof lifted off," he said.

John Mokaraka and his wife suffered minor injuries when the twister tore through the property. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Both he and his wife have sustained minor injuries, mostly small cuts as a result of the windows shattering around them.

"The windows in the front are all gone," he said.

"A lady just told us we should go off and buy a Lotto ticket."

A row of three or four houses in the area are damaged, two of them badly.

Broken glass shards cover upended furniture inside one of the homes, where locals are banding together with brooms to aid in the clean-up.

Witnesses say the roof of another home has been peeled off, like a sardine can.

A USAR team from Auckland was currently en route to the scene in Coopers Beach.

Two fire crews will remain at the scene helping with the clean up until USAR crews arrive. Civil Defence and police were also responding, the spokesman said.

A "mini tornado" has also hit Kaiwaka, which is about 100km north of Auckland. Truck driver Craig says he witnessed the event, after first noticing a flash of lightning.

"I just saw this big tree go across the road in front of me. It was literally a flying tree that landed in the middle of the road."