Tornadoes cause Canterbury damage

A tornado can be seen in the skies above Leithfield, North Canterbury. Photo / Hurunui District Council

Rough weather, lightning, and reports of a tornado caused extensive damage in North Canterbury last night.

Fire service shift manager Andrew Norris said a "cluster of houses" in Amberley, 50km north of Christchurch, had been badly damaged about 6.30pm.

Southern fire communications shift manager Karl Patterson said the strong winds lifted tiles off roofs near the Burnham Military Camp area and three houses in Amberley, 50km north of Christchurch, were also affected.

"One house completely lost its roof, another house had extensive roof damage [and] windows blown in."

The weather also caused power pole fires and trees to be knocked down, Mr Patterson said.

"Apparently a tornado of some description sort of went through just near the coast - it caused a little bit of damage, but we did a check of all the houses in the area and they were ok.

"We had a couple of fires started by lightning, we had a fire in Halswell Quarry, out the south-west side of town.

"Also, in Little River we had a tree catch on fire in the middle of a tree plantation of some description."

There were no reports of injuries, Mr Patterson said.

- Brendan Manning of APNZ

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