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Power down as fierce storm hits Auckland

AFP  |  Auckland 

Up to a quarter of homes in were without power today after a wild storm packing winds of more than 200kmh (125mph) lashed New Zealand's largest city.

The storm hit the city of 1.5 million overnight, bringing down trees and peeling roofs from houses, with emergency services saying they were "inundated" responding to calls.

international airport closed temporarily due to high winds and Air reported "significant" knock-on disruption for passengers nationwide.

At Hobsonville Point, in the city's north-west, the gale-force winds brought down scaffolding on an apartment building construction site, creating a spectacular mess of

The official Metservice forecasting bureau said wind gust readings reached 213kmh, equivalent to a category three severe tropical cyclone.

revealed "an unprecedented 200,000 properties" lost power at the height of the storm and the local council said crews were working around the clock to fix the problem.

"Around a quarter of properties in the Auckland region... up to 120,000 properties are currently without power," it said.

of said forecasters had predicted strong winds but their severity was unexpected.

He said a low pressure system from the made landfall directly over Auckland at the same time was being buffeted by southerly winds from

"All of that combined created damaging gales that were a notch above the forecasts," he said.

Aucklanders have been warned to expect further bad weather until Friday.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 11 2018. 10:40 IST