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New Zealand tornado kills one
Tue, 03 May 2011 12:19:35 GMT
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A woman stands between a wrecked car and roofing iron at the Albany Mall in suburban Auckland, New Zealand after a tornado ripped through Tuesday, May 3, 2011
A strong tornado has hit New Zealand's largest city of Auckland, killing one person and injuring scores of others, before swirling in the direction of neighboring Birkenhead.

The twister ripped through the area at a speed of 200 kilometers (124 miles) an hour without warning at about 3 p.m. (0300 GMT), smashing windows, uprooting trees and damaging parts of a shopping complex, a large hardware store and a supermarket, AFP reported on Tuesday.

Officials say the death toll might rise as the tornado has carved a trail of destruction stretching for kilometers.

The initial reports put the death toll at two, but the officials later revised down the toll to one, which is considerably low compared to the recent hurricanes that claimed hundreds of lives in the United States.

New Zealand has been hit by a number of natural disasters in recent months.

A devastating earthquake in February hit the southern Island city of Christchurch, killing more than 180 people and leaving thousands homeless.

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