Damage across South Auckland after tornado touches down

A tornado touched down in South Auckland this morning, bringing trees down, knocking over fences and ripping tiles from roofs.

A truck has been blown over onto its side on Atkins Ave. Source: 1 NEWS

Footage a motorist on the southern motorway captured showed debris swirling in the air around 8.30am. 

Meanwhile, photos sent through from Wentworth Ave, Papatoetoe, showed tiles missing from a roof, large branches snapped off a tree and a fence bent over.

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Several vehicles have also been damaged by the tornado, including a large truck flipped onto its side on Atkinson Ave. 

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A trail of damage to properties and trees was left in its wake.

FENZ told 1 NEWS they had been flooded with calls since 8am, with about 22 crews responding to 90 reports of property damage across the area. 

Auckland Emergency Management has advised people to stay away from downed power lines, to take care around broken glass and to check on neighbours. 

People can call 111 if they are in danger or need help. 

FENZ and Auckland Emergency Management are working closely on any welfare needs. 

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GP Nalini Kohlhagen and pharmacist Shiwangni Reddy describe the huge clean up ahead. Source: 1 NEWS

An emergency alert was sent to phones in the Papatoetoe and Manukau city centre area about 12pm. 

It asked people to stay out of the Papatoetoe area, from Cavendish Drive to Shirley Rd. 

'Ofa Vatikani was at work on a construction site in nearby Manukau when he saw debris and roofs flying. 

He thanked God and described himself as "lucky" it did not directly hit the site. 

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

Vector said there had been power outages in Puhunui Rd, Papatoetoe, and surrounding areas in the wake of the tornado. 

Although there had been significant damage, it said crews would work as quickly as possible to restore power.

"Our thoughts go out to those who have homes that have been damaged as a result of today’s weather."

Large branches have been ripped from trees in south Auckland after what's believed to be a small tornado passing through. Source: Fantasia Kepa

Train services along both the Eastern and Southern rail lines have been impacted, according to Auckland Transport.

Buses have been brought in to replace trains between Papakura and Penrose, as well as between Sylvia Park and Manukau.

KiwiRail has also confirmed to 1 NEWS a team has been deployed to assess the damage caused by the tornado to rail lines in South Auckland.

Properties on Wentworth Ave were left damaged after a tornado passed through. Source: Supplied

The reported tornado comes amid a wet weekend for much of the country, with heavy rain watches in place for parts of the North Island and for Kaikoura in the south. 

After reviewing video footage, MetService meteorologist Andrew James later confirmed to 1 NEWS a tornado had occurred.

James said thunderstorm activity was "conducive conditions" for tornadoes to occur. There had been activity in Auckland, but it had since passed. 

Due to the front travelling down the country, about 1500 lightning strikes were recorded overnight, but only one was over land, he said.