Auckland tornado: Super Rugby final fans warned to seek alternative transport as trains canceled
Rugby fans planning to travel to Eden Park by train for the Super Rugby final have been urged to make alternative arrangements as the effects of Saturday’s tornado persist.
The capricious weather caused cancellations on the southern and eastern train lines. Auckland Transport said in a tweet that it is working to provide additional services to customers traveling to the Super Rugby Final at Eden Park on Saturday night.
“We are unable to confirm this at this time, and it is advisable to make alternative transportation plans for your trip to the game.”
Are you affected by train cancellations? E-mail [email protected]
Meanwhile, people have been warned to stay out of an area in south Auckland after the tornado wreaked havoc, damaging properties and knocking down trees.
An emergency alert has been sent to area phones, urging people to stay clear of Cavendish Drive and Shirley Road in Papatoetoe, where high winds have destroyed rooftops, destroyed business premises and left debris scattered over the roads and gardens.
And tragedy struck nearby Wiri, where one person died and two others were injured at the Auckland South Freight Center in Auckland Ports, when the tornado dislodged several shipping containers.
When the storm struck, a spokeswoman for New Zealand’s fire and emergency services said several firefighters and more than 20 crews were responding to around 100 calls about property damage.
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Other agencies that responded included the police, St John, Vector and Auckland Council.
A spokeswoman for the fire department advised members of the public to stay away from any downed power lines and watch out for shards of glass.
Auckland Emergency Management Duty Controller Parul Sood has advocated for people to stay out of affected areas and said they are looking into what social assistance those affected by the tornado need.
Sood said the key message is for people to stay away from downed power lines and broken glass and check on neighbors, family and friends.
She said residents of the area should have received an emergency mobile alert and that further updates can be found on social media.
Meanwhile, the people who live and work at Papatoetoe assess the damage and begin the cleanup.
GP Nalini Kohlhagen said she was in shock arriving at work at Cavendish Doctors, on Cavendish Dr in Papatoetoe, on Saturday morning.
It was “carnage”, she said, with “debris everywhere”.
The window of the medical clinic had been completely smashed and part of the roof had come off.
“We are worried about our drugs in the fridges, our flu shots.”
The MRI machine, which costs millions, could also be damaged by water, she said.
The tornado also destroyed the roof of Ryan Lein’s father’s family home on Omana Road, leaving him to fear for the safety of his wife and child.
“I was sitting in my front room and all of a sudden the weather got worse and things started to fly everywhere.”
An employee of the Mobil gas station in Papatoetoe captured the severe weather on Saturday.
Lein said he could hear cracks and loud bangs coming from the roof, before the tiles started falling into his house, leaving tiles in the kitchen and bedroom.
“We were lucky that our 6 month old baby woke up earlier than usual this morning as giant shards of glass and tiles fell into the bed.
“Now our roof is leaking and the forecast is for rain tonight, so we’re working to protect our home from flooding with tubs and plastic liners. “
Glasgow Ave resident Darryl Wright said he first heard the noise, the rumble, before seeing debris flying through the air.
“I just shouted for everyone to come down.”
It was over quickly, in 15 seconds, he said. There was debris everywhere, but the neighborhood quickly came together, according to Wright.
Roofers from down the road are already atop Wright’s house, working to mend broken tiles and a collapsed chimney.
Nearby, VistaLite Windows and Doors workers, Wiri, could be seen trying to clean up extensive window damage caused by extreme weather conditions.
Met Service meteorologist Andrew James said a low pressure system caused a thunderstorm in south Auckland shortly before 9 a.m.
But without video evidence, he was unable to confirm at an early stage whether the damage to the area was caused by a tornado.
“The weather conditions at the time were suitable for tornadoes, and it is possible that the damage was caused by a small tornado.”
Manurewa resident Janet Thomas was checking her children’s sports cancellations online when she saw her outdoor chairs fly up and the ranch’s slider began to shake.
“There was a big bang and our fence came down and all of our stuff flew,” Thomas said. “It was over so quickly.”
She saw chairs flying on the road and fallen trees on cars.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said he was shocked by the damage to Papatoetoe.
“It’s amazing,” he said.
Goff said it was encouraging to see how quickly the community came together to begin the cleanup.
On Seddon Ave, Goff was treated to a community lunch table where locals cooked a meal with the barbecue, ordered pizza, and made kava.
James said the weather system that caused the damage was gone from the area and the risk to Auckland was reduced.
But with the storm now moving south, a weather watch has remained in place for the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne.