x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Auckland tornado kills 2, damages 150 homes

At least two people were killed when a tornado struck Auckland today, injuring others and causing widespread damage to property and roads.

WELLINGTON // At least two people were killed when a tornado struck Auckland today, injuring others and causing widespread damage to property and roads.

As many as 150 homes were damaged by the high-speed winds that brought down chimneys, wrecked roofs and uprooted trees, with 250 people sheltering at an emergency centre at the nearby Whenuapai Air Force base, Auckland City Council said in a statement.

Two people were confirmed dead and officials have "grave fears" for a third person, a police spokesman said in comments broadcast by Radio Live. The spokesman wasn't named and police didn't return calls from Bloomberg News. Earlier press reports indicated three people were dead.

Storms and heavy rain elsewhere in New Zealand's largest city have affected power supplies, disrupted flights and caused surface flooding that is blocking several roads, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Prime Minister John Key, who is the local member of parliament for the area, issued an e-mailed statement expressing his condolences to friends and families of the people who died.