50 properties severely damaged by reported tornado in Papatoetoe & Wiri

updated By Te Ao - Māori News
Photo Credit / Newshub

The Civil Defence Welfare Centre is providing support to Papatoetoe and Wiri residents affected by a reported tornado which hit the South Auckland suburbs Saturday morning, killing a worker in Wiri after a freight container toppled over in the winds. 

The "significant weather event" involving high winds struck about 8.30am severely damaging more than 50 properties, particularly in the Papatoetoe and Wiri areas, Auckland Emergency Management said in a statement.

Utilities, including power and water, have been affected and providers are working to fix these as soon as possible.

In an update Saturday night, authorities estimated more than 1200 homes are affected in Papatoetoe and the surrounding area, with the majority without power and around 60 uninhabitable.

“Those whose homes have been significantly affected appear to be staying with friends and whānau and a small number have been in touch through the Civil Defence Welfare Centre," Auckland Emergency Management duty controller Parul Sood said in a statement.

“Tonight, we know that lots of people have chosen to stay in their homes and we’re appealing to those who may have damage to their properties to ensure they have an evacuation plan, especially if bad weather forecast for overnight causes any further issues.”

Photo Credit / Our Auckland (Auckland Council)

A Civil Defence Welfare Centre has been opened at Ōtara Pool and Leisure Centre to provide support to people unable to stay with friends and family or who have health or welfare needs as a result of the incident.

Sood said the centre will offer needs assessments and connect people to support agencies, “If your home or property was affected this morning, the welfare centre can offer a range of support.

“In some cases, accommodation can be provided, however we urge people to reach out to friends and whānau for assistance first,” she said.

She said people should bring medications and essential items, if possible, like identification documents, baby needs and warm clothing.

Pets, particularly dogs, should be taken care of by friends or whānau where possible, but can be brought to the welfare centre if there is no alternative, she said.

People who need assistance but are unable to get to the centre can call Auckland Emergency Management on 0800 22 22 00.