Tornado rips through houses in Taranaki

A twister ripped through the coastal Taranaki town of Awakino around 3pm. Photo: Deane Riddick...
A twister ripped through the coastal Taranaki town of Awakino around 3pm. Photo: Deane Riddick Facebook
A tornado has torn through the small coastal settlement of Awakino in Taranaki, destroying three beach houses.

It comes as one property has been flooded and a number of roads closed in Horowhenua after heavy rain caused flooding.

In Taranaki, a tornado ripped the roofs off three beach houses in the small coastal settlement.

Deane Riddick posted footage of the twister's destruction on Facebook. It went through Gribbin St about 3pm.

In Levin, one house was flooded with sewage, and the residents chose to flee, a statement from Horowhenua District Council said.

Roofs were ripped from three beach houses in Awakino by a twister. Photo: Deane Riddick Facebook
Roofs were ripped from three beach houses in Awakino by a twister. Photo: Deane Riddick Facebook
A number of roads are closed, including: Easton Way, Okarito Ave, Newport St, and Buller Rd.

"Council officers are continuing to contact properties identified as at risk, but at this stage no one is needing assistance," the statement said.

"More sandbags have been acquired and contractors and council officers are continuing to respond to calls for sandbags, which are being provided to residences and businesses at risk.

"It is requested that the public stay off the roads, particularly in North East Levin, as there is still significant surface flooding in the area."

MetService forecast the rain should start to ease off.

Earlier, the council said its emergency operations centre was activated at 1.30pm after flooding was reported in Levin and Ohau.

The NZ Transport Agency had also reported that part of State Highway 1, on Oxford St near the Mobil service station, was flooded and recommended it close.

Road snowfall warnings have been issued for SH1 Desert Rd and SH5 Napier-Taupo Rd this evening, with motorists asked to take care on all roads around Tongariro National Park overnight.
 

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