Tornado terror: Buildings 'blown apart' by twisters

A New Plymouth woman has spoken about the frightening experience of seeing her roof ripped off in a tornado.

Residents in Ōhope and New Plymouth are currently assessing the damage caused by twisters that struck the area at around 6pm on Monday.

Odette Bastin told The AM Show she looked up to see her roof was gone.

"I was in my dining room just doing some paperwork and my son sort of looked out the window and yelled at me that the tramp was going and it's bolted to the ground but it's disappeared," she said.

"And then there's a door in my ceiling that sort of goes into the roof, it flew open and I looked up and there was no roof."

Ms Bastin said the loss of the roof caused a loud bang and her house is not the only one that was damaged.

"There's definitely a lot of damage in the area," she said.

"The neighbours right next to me were safe which is good, across the road have lost half their house or just half their roof sorry."

Fire and Emergency northern shift manager Craig Dally said some of the damage in the area appears to be quite bad.

"I believe some of the houses have been evacuated," he told Newshub.

A building at the Ōhope Top 10 Holiday Park in Whakatane suffered serious damage as the tornado struck.

Ōhope Beach Top 10 Holiday park manager Mark Inman said a building at the camp had been "completely blown apart" by the rapidly rotating column of air.

Mr Inman said campers were all accounted for, but it was difficult to check the site because it was so dark.

A separate tornado also damaged several houses in 300km away in New Plymouth, tearing up fences, smashing windows and ripping off a roof.

Police said while a number of properties had been reported damaged, it was too early to confirm exactly how many and there had been no reported injuries.

New Plymouth resident John Demchy says he stood at his door in terror as one of the tornadoes ripped through the area.

"Out of the corner of my eye I caught all that iron coming off the roof up there and it came down, touched the house and then the wind picked it up again and [it] finished off in the driveway," he said.

A MetService spokesperson confirmed to The AM Show that there was no longer a high risk of tornadoes in the region on Tuesday.


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