Cromwell lashed by mini-tornados

tornado otago cromwell
A tornado in New Zealand (Sam Wanrooy)

The Central Otago region of Cromwell has been lashed by a series of mini-tornados on Wednesday night.

Southern police and fire service were called out multiple times, and residents in the Sommerfields area are urged to stay inside and away from windows.

Motorcyclists and drivers of heavy vehicles are being warned to avoid travel through the Cromwell Basin due to the strong winds.

There could also be delays on some roads because of fallen power poles.

Police say several trailers have been overturned and there is damage to fences and windows.