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Lighning strike near Hamilton Airport

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/07/2016

A commercial building and a house have been struck by lightning near Hamilton Airport.

The Fire Service got a call from Pacific Aerospace in Airport Road at about 2.30pm on Friday and from a home owner in the same road about 20 minutes later.

There was a smell of burning, but no fire, at Pacific Aerospace, and there was a fire at the house when a modem exploded, a Fire Service spokesman said.

A house in Clevedon, near Auckland, was also struck and has a hole in the floor.

WeatherWatch.co.nz said it had received reports of thunderstorms and big downpours in Te Awamutu, south of Hamilton, on Friday afternoon.

MetService said an active front with heavy rain and thunderstorms was expected to move over western areas of the North Island, north of Taranaki, on Friday afternoon and evening.

There was a risk of severe thunderstorms in north Taranaki, and western areas of Waitomo and Waikato until 6pm on Friday, producing wind gusts of more than 110km/h and possibly a small tornado.

On Friday morning Kapiti Coast District Council advised people to check their properties, secure loose outdoor items, clear any leaves from drains, and consider avoiding travel with a bad weather burst impending.

It later said the weather was not looking as nasty as the forecasts suggested.

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