Storms lash northern New Zealand

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Fierce rain and heavy flooding forced the evacuation of houses across the Bay of Plenty in northern New Zealand last Wednesday.

The town of Matata was particularly badly hit, with almost half the population evacuated. Twenty houses were destroyed, and over fifty others were extensively damaged. Total damage is estimated at several million New Zealand dollars.

The nearby large town of Whakatane and city of Tauranga also suffered damage, with eight houses in Tauranga destroyed in a major landslip triggered by the rainstorm.

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