Civil Defence opens welfare centre for people affected by Auckland tornado

Civil Defence has set up a welfare centre for those affected by the tornado which hit south Auckland this morning.

A home in Papatoetoe damaged by the tornado. Source: Supplied

The centre has been opened at Ōtara Pool and Leisure Centre on Newbury Street. It will provide support to anyone who is unable to stay with friends and family, or has health and welfare needs, in the wake of this morning’s weather event.

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Auckland Emergency Management duty controller Parul Sood said the welfare centre will offer a range of support, including needs assessments and connecting people to support agencies.

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

If possible, anyone attending the centre should bring medications and essential items such as identification documents, baby needs and warm clothing.

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FENZ Assistant Area Commander Stephen Sosich describes the significant damage left to infrastructure and properties. Source: 1 NEWS

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.

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

The high winds that ripped through South Auckland this morning caused severe damage to more than 50 properties, particularly in the Papatoetoe and Wiri areas.

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Utilities, including power and water, were affected.

Providers say they are working to fix these as soon as possible.