[QODLink]
Weather

Tornadoes slam New Zealand

Severe thunderstorms deliver damaging hail and destructive winds.

Last updated: 24 Feb 2014 08:38
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Large hail can damage crops and make driving conditions dangerous. [Credit: @nzquirkymama]

A severe thunderstorm has ripped across the South Island of New Zealand.

It formed just off the coast of Timaru and made its way northwards, churning over Christchurch shortly after 4 GMT (5pm local time) on Sunday.

Lightning sparked fires as large hail stones pounded the city.

At least two tornadoes were spotted. One uprooted over 20 trees, the other hit the town of Amberley, 50km to the north of Christchurch.

A handful of homes were badly damaged. One had its roof completely ripped off, and landed on the other side of the road.

Tornadoes are a relatively rare event in New Zealand. On average only about 10 tornadoes are reported in the country each year, and generally they aren’t as destructive as those which occur over the plains of the USA.

However, even small-scale tornadoes can cause major damage and injury. In December 2012, three people were killed when a tornado slammed into Auckland.

This latest bout of severe weather comes after a very hot week, when temperatures soared over 30C for many parts of the country. Temperatures in Christchurch reached 33.3C on Tuesday.

The weather has now calmed down over New Zealand. An area of high pressure is building across the country, which should keep the weather mostly settled, but not as hot as last week.

228

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The new military government has issued warnings that it will soon start to clampdown on immigration offenders.
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
join our mailing list