• Tornado Rips Through Auckland Waterfront

    'Tornado' hits Auckland waterfront and leaves destruction in its wake.
    Article via NZ Herald

    A tornado-like waterspout has ripped through central Auckland's waterfront, toppling at least one shipping container and wreaking havoc on yachts, ships and cars.

    Vehicles were swept into the ocean and a yacht was struck by lightning as the storm left a trail of destruction on Monday night.

    A shipping container toppled on to a car at Jellicoe Wharf near Tinley St, trapping the driver. They were tended to by emergency services and taken to hospital in a moderate condition.

    Several yachts at Westhaven Marina lost their moorings and a catamaran was overturned in the turmoil.

    Coastguard duty officer Hemi Manaena said the winds had caused "significant damage" to a large number of recreational vessels at Westhaven.

    The Sealink Ferry also lost its mooring at Wynyard Quarter and needed to be retrieved.

    "We'd like to reiterate that there's a large amount of debris in the harbour," Manaena said.

    "Mariners should remain vigilant when navigating the area, especially around the Princes/ Hobson Wharf area - a shipping container has fallen into the water there."

    There were reports of other containers floating in the harbour and a car had also gone into the water near the entrance to the Viaduct. Other cars were being retrieved by a tow truck.

    Harbourmaster Captain Andrew Hayton said there was localised minor damage to wharves and pontoons from North Head to the Harbour Bridge.

    "A 50ft catamaran has capsized at Westhaven, it took out a fuel bowser and a small amount of diesel spilled, the fuel has disappeared and there is no pollution worry," he said.

    "The Harbourmaster has a couple of boats out checking wharves and recovering anything floating in the water."

    Panuku Development Auckland's Kevin Lidgard said they were relieved no one was hurt around the marinas - at Westhaven, Silo and Viaduct - during last night's storm.

    Workers would be out assessing the damage and cleaning up.

    He said about 45 vessels were damaged or broke their moorings at Westhaven last night and there was also damage to some marina infrastructure.

    "The damage at Silo and Viaduct marinas is restricted to the pontoon structure and some damage to a vehicle and Portacom that blew off the wharf.''

    Lidgard said all vessels were secured overnight when it was safe to do so and there would be continued checks of all three marinas for any other damage not yet identified.

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