Tor­nado hits South Island, light­ning hits North

Fiji Sun - - Aust / NZ News - NZ Her­ald

Arahura Pa: A ko­hanga reo has been dev­as­tated and homes dam­aged af­ter a tor­nado ripped through a West Coast set­tle­ment yes­ter­day morn­ing.

The de­struc­tive twis­ter fol­lows thun­der and light­ning strikes on homes and a Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion build­ing, and the res­cue of two men from a car as flood­wa­ters rose.

The de­struc­tive wind fun­nel bar­relled through Arahura Pa north of Hok­i­tika, tear­ing build­ings apart and leav­ing de­bris scat­tered in its wake. Thick pieces of wood were snapped like match­sticks and sheds dis­ap­peared sky­ward into neigh­bour­ing farm­land. Power re­mains off to the small set­tle­ment, which now faces a mas­sive clean-up to re­pair bro­ken win­dows, bowled fences and a ko­hanga reo that has been left un­recog­nis­able. Its roof landed about 100m away across rail­way lines. Te Ru­nanga o Ngai Tahu chair­woman Lisa Tuma­hai said the ko­hanga reo at Arahura Pa had borne the brunt of the twis­ter.

Those liv­ing in the path of the tor­nado de­scribed the omi­nous roar as it closed in on the com­mu­nity, trav­el­ling up the nearby river at about 5.15am.

Ko­hanga reo Photo: Lisa Tuma­hai

A build­ing at Arahura Pa dev­as­tated by a mini tor­nado.

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