East Auckland residents describe chaotic scenes as tornado hits

Most of the damage runs from the Pakuranga Golf Club southeast to Barry Curtis Park in Flat Bush.

About 50 homes have been damaged, and 10 have been yellow stickered.

RNZ reports another 50 properties were damaged after a tornado tore through the Tasman district near Nelson on Monday afternoon.

26 dead after dozens of tornadoes hit United States

Homes were destroyed and thousands left without power after storms caused devastation across several states.

According to the Washington Post, more than 60 tornado reports have been recorded.

States including Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Alabama and Mississippi have all had fatalities as a result of the weather.

One storm shredded through the Arkansas town of Wynne - a community some 170km east of the state capital, Little Rock.

Winter storm hits California with snow and central US with tornadoes

Residents in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Texas were asked to seek shelter as severe weather makes its way to the region through Monday.

There were reports of damaged homes and knocked down power lines, leaving thousands without power.

At least 12 people have been reported injured as a result of the storm.

Severe weather is expected to continue to the upper Midwest later in the week.

Californians have already faced mass power outages, flooding and the closures of both motorways and beaches as the storm swept the US state.

Amazon criticised over safety at tornado-hit warehouse

"This never would have happened if they cared about lives over productivity," the sister of one of the victims commented on social media.

The company says its team had "worked quickly" in response to the tornado.

The roof collapsed as the storm hit the warehouse on Friday.

Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement the company is "deeply saddened" by the deaths.

One of those who died, Clayton Cope, 29, spoke to his family on the phone shortly before the building in the town of Edwardsville, Illinois was struck.

1 killed, 2 injured as tornado rips through South Auckland

The storm lifted roofs, toppled trees, shattered windows, downed powerlines and sent trampolines flying in the suburb of Papatoetoe at around 8:30am.

RNZ reports a worker was killed when the tornado struck a freight container hub in Wiri Station Road.

The deceased is a former Fijian who moved to New Zealand in 2014.

Two other workers who were taken to Middlemore Hospital - one is in a moderate condition and the other has minor injuries.

Several containers were toppled by the strong wind.

What tornado? Honey, the grass needs cutting

Maybe that explains why a man in Canada kept mowing his lawn even after a huge tornado reared up behind his house.

Cecilia Wessels took a remarkable photo of her husband, Theunis Wessels, pushing a mower Friday as a funnel cloud loomed over him in the background. She posted it to her Facebook page with a dryly witty caption, "my beast mowing the lawn with a breeze in his hair."

The photo raises an obvious question.


Severe weather hits US Southeast

In South Carolina, Jason Matthews, 66, died Monday when strong winds flipped his mobile home several times, Union County Sheriff David Taylor said.

"He was barely alive when (his) brother found him. By the time EMS and law enforcement could get to him he had died from his injuries," Taylor said.

Earlier, in Florence, Mississippi, 52-year-old Jacqueline Williams was on the phone Monday morning with 911, trying to direct rescuers after her vehicle went off the road into a creek, Rankin County Coroner David Ruth said. She was unable to get out and died.