The tornado that raced through South Auckland this morning killed one person and wounded two more.
The storm lifted roofs, toppled trees and sent trampolines flying in the suburb of Papatoetoe at around 8:30am.
A worker was killed when the tornado struck a freight container hub in Wiri Station Road.
Two others were taken to Middlemore Hospital – one is in a moderate condition and the other has minor injuries.
Several containers were toppled by the strong wind.
Ports of Auckland says it operates the site with several other businesses but none of the injured people worked for the company.
It said it is shocked by the freak event and its thoughts are with the people affected.
WorkSafe is investigating the death.
RNZ reporter Katie Doyle, who was at the fire service cordon at Freyburg Avenue in Papatoetoe, described it as carnage saying there had been a lot of damage.
She said the street was strewn with branches and one tree had been completely uprooted. There were pieces of corrugated iron ripped away, power lines down and roof tiles ripped off by the tornado, she said.
Binpin Thakkar who lives on Hayworth Road, said his whole house shook in the tornado and he feared it would be blown away.
He said he could see roof tiles flying down his street and there is broken glass from shattered windows everywhere.
Thakkar said it was a frightening experience, as the tornado struck with force.
He said at the time trees were flying about and all the fences on his property have been damaged.
“It was very scary, everything inside the house, the whole house was shaking actually, we were thinking the whole house will go away. The outside property damage like glass damage and roof damage and our neighbour’s house tiles were actually flying.”
He said neighbours are rallying to help to clean up the damage.
There is a heavy police presence in the areas most affected by the tornado.
MetService meteorologist Andrew James said the tornado was due to a front that moved towards Auckland overnight.
James said the bad weather has now moved away from Auckland.