In New Zealand, a state of civil emergency was declared in the Thames, Te Aroha and Paeroa districts of Auckland after a fierce storm damaged more than 150 homes on Thursday (20 July).
GV PAN Damaged houses and property in Te Aroha, New Zealand (2 shots)
SV PAN INT Damaged roof and debris in house (2 shots)
SV Rescue workers stepping down out of truck
GV Rescue workers removing loose bricks from roof of house (2 shots)
SV & CU Volunteers preparing food for workers and workers drinking (2 shots)
TRAVEL SHOT Closed shops in commercial area
GV Derailed freight train (3 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: POLAND: "It was no ordinary storm that hit Te Aroha and surrounding districts last night. Gale force winds mercilessly tore roofs off countless houses and anything insecure was blown away. It soon became clear to Te Aroha's administrators and those in nearby towns that a state of civil emergency should be declared. All able-bodies men were asked to report for rescue duties and all other residents were told to stay inside, out of trouble. At least 150 homes suffered damage in Te Aroha alone and truckloads of men drove round the town helping with temporary repairs and the salvaging of furniture and personal effects. Most of the town went without power at one stage or another and electricity may not be restored tot he worst hit areas for several days. The fact that no-one has been reported injured despite all the flying debris is regarded as nothing short of miraculous. Countless volunteers turned out and a soup kitchen was hastily set up providing hot drinks and a quick bite to eat in between rescue work. Te Aroha's business community remained strangely deserted. Banks declared a two-day holiday and most other shops followed suit with staff preferring to help in the emergency. Perhaps the most spectacular.....incident was the derailment of a goods train on the outskirts of town. It's believed a wagon-cover tangled under the wheels and 11 wagons carrying general freight were tossed into the Waiho River. The track won't be cleared until late tonight. Throughout the ordeal sprits have remained high and Te Aroha's Civil Defence Controller says the public response has been first class.
REPORTER: OWEN POLAND
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In New Zealand, a state of civil emergency was declared in the Thames, Te Aroha and Paeroa districts of Auckland after a fierce storm damaged more than 150 homes on Thursday (20 July). Residents were warned to stay indoors because of the danger of flying corrugated iron and falling trees. Heavy winds and rain are continuing, but it has been reported that the worst of the storm is over. NZBC's Owen Poland reports from Te Aroha.