PM visits Papatoetoe residents hit by tornado

Almost a week after a tornado tore through Papatoetoe leaving a path of destruction in its wake, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is visiting those left to pick up the pieces.

Ardern has met with Auckland Council Emergency Management staff and first responders.

She is also walking down Hayward Rd in Papatoetoe, where skips full of debris from the tornado line the side of the road.

Saturday morning’s tornado damaged 251 homes leaving 22 uninhabitable and 60 others so badly damaged they had been deemed dangerous enough to have restricted entry.

The force of the tornado also killed engineer Janesh Prasad who was repairing a forklift at the Ports of Auckland freight hub in Wiri when the tornado ripped through.

It is understood the father-of-two was killed after being thrown a distance and hitting a solid object.

The tornado ripped roofs off dozens of houses, blew out the windows in many, tipped trucks and cars upside down, uprooted trees, sent trampolines flying through yards and brought down power lines.

Inspectors have determined 22 homes in the neighbourhood are unsafe to live in, and have placed entry restrictions on 60 more, which have dangerous areas.

About 1200 homes were left without power for the day.

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