Taupō locals rush to avoid jewellery store roof panels that were blown off by strong winds

Strong winds have left gaping holes in the roof of a Taupō jewellery store this afternoon.

Strong winds have left a Michael Hill jewellery store with gaping holes in its roof in Taupō. Source: Supplied / Samantha Stretton

Samantha Stretton from the nearby Postie Plus store heard a “loud bang” when the hard plastic panels of the Michael Hill jewellery store came crashing down.

“I didn’t see the panels fall when I heard the bang but suddenly, panels were flying onto the path,” Stretton told 1 NEWS.

Postie Plus staff rushed to get people inside the safety of the store.

Several panels were blown off the store's roof. Source: Supplied / Samantha Stretton

One customer was hit by one of the flying panels while attempting to keep a panel on the ground from blowing away.

He was left unharmed and carried on with his shopping, Stretton said.

Six of the panels was detached in the incident, several of which became stuck in a bush.

“They’re difficult to move because they’ve got sharp, cracked edges,” she said.

“If there wasn’t a tree there, it would’ve hit someone’s car.”