One person has died after a tornado hit the New Zealand city of Auckland
© Lynn Grieveson/Getty Images
One person has died after a tornado hit the New Zealand city of Auckland.
A tornado has ripped through the city of Auckland, New Zealand leaving one person dead with damaging winds uprooting trees, exploding power lines and battering houses.

The tornado hit before 8.30am on Saturday morning and fire and emergency crews have been called out to more than 100 locations affected by property damage.

The force of the wind was so strong shipping containers toppled at the Port of Auckland, killing one person and injuring a further two who have been rushed to hospital, Stuff reports.

'The tornado caused significant damage to the site and dislodged multiple containers,' a Port of Auckland spokesperson said.

'We are shocked by this freak event and our thoughts are with the people affected.'

Emergency services said they attended the scene of a 'workplace accident' at Port of Auckland on Saturday morning.

Residential streets in South Auckland were slammed by the weather system with cars overturned and fences ripped from the ground.

'Trees were snapped off at the roots, there's a new house being built over the road and it's all over on one side. Cars have been crushed by power poles. It's kinda crazy really,' local resident Heather Haylock told The New Zealand Herald.

She said at first she mistook the sound of the roaring wind for motorcycles tearing up her street but then the lights began to flicker.

A mother and baby sleeping next door to her narrowly avoided injury after a piece of wood went through a window in the bedroom where they were sleeping.

'She was obviously really upset. The glass missed the baby - there's a whole series of miracles down the street.'

Another resident said there was nothing left of his neighbour's roof.

Much of the damage was centred around the southern suburb of Papatotoe.

More than 20 fire and ambulance crews are have been dispatched to the area with cleanup and repairs expected to take weeks.