'You lose cows farming, it's a fact of life, but this was quite sad' - Waikato farmers on loss of four 'girls' in lightning strike

Warning: Some people may find some of the vision in the video upsetting

Clem and Karen Newby have been milking near Hamilton for 54 years and say they’ve never lost any of "their girls" to lightning - but that changed today.

The couple had nearly finished milking this morning when the weather turned from stormy to dangerous.

"It was really frightening, I started to cuddle Clem," Karen said.

The last few cows had left the shed when the pair heard a loud crack of lightning - Clem discovered four of his cows on the ground a short while later.

"I was driving down the farm after feeding and could see an obstacle in the distance ... I knew it had to be some of the girls." he said.

The cows were found in unnatural positions with one a few metres ahead of the group.

Karen said the cause of death was really upsetting.

"You lose cows farming, it's a fact of life, but this was quite sad - especially because one of the girls was a really good feeder."

Clem said he's just glad it wasn't himself or one of his workers.

"If a worker had been following behind those girls there's no doubt they would have been struck."

Farm worker James Miles said he also heard the lightning strike, and said they had just been joking about being hit by lightning themselves.

"We were milking the last row and had a little joke about better get the wife to pick him up to take him home 'cause we might get struck by lightning," he explained.

"We had a little chuckle about that and we carried on our way, and the boss left on quad bike to go home.

"About five minutes later, I got a call saying to quickly turn the power off - we have had four cows struck by lightning."

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    Amy Buncuga, who recorded the strike, said she had to mute out her scream before sharing the video. Source: Supplied

    Auckland recorded hundreds of lightning strikes today as fierce thunderstorms lashed the region today.

    With the thunderstorms came large rain dumps. Auckland broke a record for the most rain it has received during a single hour during the month of December.

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      Clem and Karen Newby had just finished milking when they heard the enormous clap. Source: 1 NEWS