Powerful winds swept through the central and lower North Island of New Zealand overnight, causing extensive damage. The severe gales, almost reaching
Powerful winds swept through the central and lower North Island of New Zealand overnight, causing extensive damage. The severe gales, almost reaching record gusts in the lower North Island, tore off roofs, toppled trees and fences, and shattered windows. Fire and Emergency (FENZ) Central Region responded to 164 weather-related calls in a matter of hours, dealing with various incidents like roofs being blown off, power lines affected by fallen trees, and flattened fences.
Areas such as Kāpiti Coast, Wairarapa, Wainuiomata in Lower Hutt, and Wellington’s Miramar Peninsula were among the hardest-hit regions, although there have been no reports of injuries. Flights to and from Wellington Airport faced cancellations, and Cook Strait ferries operated in rough conditions with large swells. The Remutaka Hill Road north of Wellington, where wind speeds reached a staggering 185km/h, has since reopened.
The powerful winds were attributed to the transition to El Niño, bringing increased fire risk due to a forecasted dry season. FENZ advised securing loose property and being cautious with outdoor fires, emphasizing the importance of following safety guidelines during this period of extreme weather.