Aerial images show destruction caused by Levin tornado

Source: 1News

Drone footage has captured the path of destruction cause by a tornado in Levin which struck early on Friday morning.

The Horowhenua town was hit by a tornado around 6.30am, damaging homes, downing power lines and ripping out trees.

Drone footage from the Horowhenua District Council shows multiple houses without roofs, and one building completely decimated.

The council said the images show around 30 to 50 houses have been damaged.

During the tornado a garden shed was flung across the street into a woman's house, which then smashed through the front window of the house.

The woman was taken to hospital.

Another resident said she woke to a "horrendous" noise and was then covered in glass as the tornado hit.

MetService on Friday afternoon said unsettled weather was predicted to remain over the country this weekend.

It also observed 12,000 lightning strikes in the six hours to 11.30am this morning.

Horowhenua District Council Mayor Bernie Wanden says a Mayoral Relief Fund has been setup to assist people affected by the tornado.

“Together, my Councillors and I are pleased to announce that we have established a Mayoral Relief Fund, and as a Council we are contributing $100,000 to start that fund. It is heartening that the Honourable Kiritapu Allan, Minister for Emergency Management, has confirmed central government will be matching our contribution,” says Wanden.

“The extent of the damage is still unveiling itself, but what we know is that our community needs help. The Mayoral Relief Fund will be used to help those in our community who have suffered loss and damage as a result of today’s severe weather event.”

Strong winds were experienced elsewhere in the country on Friday. A woman died in Cambridge after being trapped under a fallen tree for around 45 minutes.

In Auckland, the Harbour Bridge was closed for a time as winds reached over 95km/h.