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Thunderstorms to make way for more rain, gales

Published: 12:24PM Thursday December 06, 2012 Source: ONE News

Severe thunderstorm warnings and watches have now been lifted following the deadly tornado in West Auckland today.

But more bad weather is predicted from midnight, with showers, which may become heavy, and winds reaching 100km/h.

The highest gust of wind recorded this afternoon was 151 km/h at Snapper Rock, Albany.

Western suburbs of Auckland including New Lynn, Avondale and around the foothills of the Waitakere Ranges experienced rainfall rates of around 21mm within 10 minutes this afternoon.

MetService says a report of a tornado in the Rotorua suburb of Ngongotaha was part of the same system that struck Hobsonville earlier in the day, and was the subject of Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.

A farmer in the area has told ONE News he was tossed in the air.

This cell was moving over Mahia and out to sea, MetService said this evening.

More than 200 people have had to leave their homes in the wake of a tornado that killed three people and injured seven north-west of Auckland this afternoon.

The casualties occurred at the construction site for a new school at Hobsonville Point.

The twister struck a one-kilometre zone in Hobsonville at 12.30pm, hitting the school construction site with deadly force.

It appears giant concrete slabs toppled onto a work truck, crushing those inside.