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A tornado has ripped through Greymouth this afternoon, tearing off a roof and damaging up to 10 properties.
Fire Service southern communications shift manager Tim Reynolds said the fire service responded calls after the destructive winds hit south western suburb of Blaketown shortly before 5pm.
No one had been reported injured, he said.
A roof had lifted off one house and other homes suffered water damage.
Greymouth resident Sarah Shaw and her husband were driving past Mawhera Quay in Blaketown when the tornado hit some distance away.
"I just looked up and happened to notice it and said to my husband 'look at that cloud. Is that a tornado or a water spout?
"Then we saw heaps of debris flying through the air so we knew it was. It looked like bits of wood or maybe roofing iron were being tossed around."
Power was out at her house for a short time but had since come back on.