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New Zealand warned to brace for more tornadoes

by Staff Writers
Wellington (AFP) May 5, 2011
Meteorologists in New Zealand on Thursday warned there was an increased risk of tornadoes in the North Island, just days after a deadly twister hit the country's largest city Auckland.

The official forecaster MetService said severe storms were likely in parts of the North Island Friday and a complex trough over the area meant tornadoes were possible.

While the whirlwind that killed one man when it tore through the suburb of Albany on Tuesday hit without warning, MetService said the approaching storm front appeared more typical of tornado weather.

"As of now, tomorrow ticks all the boxes," MetService chief forecaster Peter Kreft said. "Unlike Tuesday, we can already identify tornado potential in these lines of showers."

Kreft said it was too early to predict where or when a tornado may strike, but MetService was closely monitoring the situation.

The Auckland tornado flipped cars, uprooted trees and sheared the roof off a shopping mall as winds topped 200 kilometres an hour (125 miles an hour).

Construction worker Benedict Dacayan, originally from the Philippines, was killed when the swirling winds picked him up and threw him into a concrete wall.

Another 14 people were injured and authorities said it was "a miracle" more were not killed.

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Clean-up begins after New Zealand tornado
Wellington (AFP) May 4, 2011
A major clean-up began in tornado-hit Auckland Wednesday, as authorities in New Zealand's largest city expressed amazement that the destructive twister resulted in only one death. Winds exceeding 200 kilometres an hour (125 miles an hour) tore through the suburb of Albany when the tornado hit without warning on Tuesday afternoon, flipping cars, uprooting trees and shearing the roof off a sho ... read more

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