Tornado In Albany, NZ: 3 May 2011
The tornado which struck Albany Village on Auckland’s North Shore caused a large amount of damage to buildings, wrecked many cars, and killed one man.
Benedect Dacayan, father of two, lost his life in the twister. He was an employee of Fletcher Construction, and was working at Albany Village when the tornado struck. The temporary site office which he was working in was carried off in the wind and hit a wall, and this accident sadly resulted in the death of Mr Dacayan. Condolences to the family of Mr Dacayan. I believe that he was taken back to the Philippines for a family burial.
We have not had many tornadoes in New Zealand: This was the fourth one experienced in a hundred years in the Auckland region, according to ‘The New Zealand Herald’ on Friday, May 6th 2011. However, the number of tornadoes here could possibly be slightly more than that, since not all tornadoes are actually witnessed by people.
The Rodney Times, which covers the area of Albany, featured an interesting story about tornadoes in the Albany area: It tells the strange story about another tornado which struck the same area in Albany, almost 20 years to the date of this recent one on May 3rd. This Albany tornado of 1991 killed a man very close to the place where Benedict Dacayan lost his life.
The man who lost his life in 1991 was 25 year old Wayne Stanley-Hunt, who was also working at the time. He was driving a piece of earth-moving equipment back along the highway towards his home at Orewa when he was struck by debris hurtled by the tornado.
Another instance of a tornado happening at Albany was given to me ‘off the cuff’. My neighbour in Orewa told me today that they know an elderly man who witnessed another tornado, about 20 years before the 1991 tornado. He tells the story of his friend being lifted up into the air a couple of metres. The men were both working in Albany at the time. He remembers that, as his friend rose up in the air, so did his hair, which stood straight on end. This man who was lifted by the tornado was very fortunate, in that he was delivered back to the ground without harm. So, too, was his friend who witnessed the scene, as he could easily have been taken up into the air if he had stood a few metres forward of his position.
Another friend of my neighbour’s is a geologist who says that there are minerals such as quartz underground in the Albany area. He says that this creates a magnetic force which affects wind activity, causing tornadoes to occur there more frequently than other areas in Auckland.
Well, today is Monday, the 17 May, 2011, and there has been more news of tornadoes in New Zealand. I think it was last Thursday, when fierce winds and rain wreaked havoc over much of New Zealand, that several tornadoes were reported in the Nelson area. Several buildings and some cars were damaged in these Nelson tornadoes. Fortunately, nobody was hurt.