Wild weather

Australia storms: Wild weather lashes vast stretch of east coast

More than 2,000 homes in the cities were out of power on Monday after strong winds tampered with power lines.

Tides up to 8m (26 feet) high were recorded, eroding the shoreline in some areas.

Emergency services said they had had over 700 calls for help since Sunday.

About half a dozen people stranded in floodwaters had been rescued, they added.

Meteorologists have warned that this Australian summer will see the impacts of a La NiƱa weather pattern, which typically brings more rainfall and tropical cyclones.

Wild weather, lightning strikes hit New Zealand

The thunderstorms were working their way up the coast, beginning in Fiordland at 1am.

Newshub reports at one point lightning bolts were flashing 45 times per minute.

The West Coast is also being battered with heavy rainfall, with up to 160mm over a 36-hour period in Westland and 120mm in the Canterbury and Otago headwaters, according to MetService.

MetService has issued a severe wind warning for Otago and Canterbury as well as Wellington and the Wairarapa.

It said storms would continue to barrage the entire West Coast for the rest of the day.