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Stories by topic: disasters

1948 Hamilton tornado25/08/1948, Written by: Erick Brenstrum | 0 comments
One of the worst tornadoes to strike New Zealand occurred at Hamilton on August 25, 1948 killing three people, injuring dozens, and destroying or severely damaging almost 150 houses and 50 business premises.One man died when his bach collapsed on...
1947 Wanganella Weather 19/01/1947, Written by: Erick Brenstrum | 0 comments
Possibly the best weather ever to attend a shipwreck in New Zealand occurred in January 1947. The passenger ship Wanganella, which had been a hospital ship during the Second World War, was returning to the trans-Tasman run. En route from Sydney...
Good Weather for Sinking26/06/1918, Written by: Erick Brenstrum | 0 comments
Adverse weather is not responsible for all maritime tragedies . In fact, benign conditions lessened the scale of the tragedy when the steamer Wimmera, bound for Sydney, struck a mine 18 miles north of Cape Maria Van Dieman before dawn on 26 June...
Rimutaka Rail Tragedy11/09/1880, Written by: Erick Brenstrum | 0 comments
High winds caused a tragic accident on the railway line over the Rimutaka Range between Wellington and Wairarapa on 11 September 1880. The track over the mountains had been open less than two years. It was so steep that the trains were driven...
Cyclone Gisele and the sinking of the Wahine10/04/1968, Written by: Erick Brenstrum | 0 comments
The storm that grew out of tropical cyclone Gisele caused the strongest wind ever recorded in New Zealand - 181 km/h (98 knots) gusting 269 km/h (145 knots) at Oteranga Bay west of Wellington. Although it wrought havoc to thousands of properties in...
The Weather at Passchendaele07/10/2013, Written by: Erick Brenstrum | 0 comments
We remember our war dead on Anzac Day, 25 April, the anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli in World War I. But our heaviest losses in that war occurred on the Western Front.Our worst day was 12 October 1917...
1901 Wellington Fire30/05/1901, Written by: Erick Brenstrum | 0 comments
By a long streak of good fortune, the fires that occurred in 19th century Wellington coincided with light winds. The Panama Street fire of February 1887 was the worst, burning most of a city block and destroying property to the value of over...
1936 Cyclone02/02/1936, Written by: Erick Brenstrum | 0 comments
In early February 1936, a devastating cyclone, possibly New Zealand’s most destructive storm in the last century, struck the North Island.This storm formed south of the Solomon Islands late January 1936. It met up with a cold front north of New...
Cyclone meets wildfire March 191818/03/1918, Written by: Erick Brenstrum | 0 comments
One of the worst wildfires in New Zealand history was caused by severe gale-force winds around a cyclone.  On March 18, 1918, a farmer near Horopito, north of Ohakune lit a fire to burn timber and scrub he had cut down to clear the land. Although...
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