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NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES
FRANKTON TORNADO, HAMILTON, WAIKATO
WEDNESDAY 25 AUGUST 1948

Three people were killed, seven victims were badly injured and damage to property was heavy after a tornado swept across Hamilton from the north-west shortly before midday on Wednesday 25 August 1948.

The tornado, which appeared to have originated in the Frankton or Forest Lake area, went through the business area of Frankton then went over the hill into Hamilton West where it passed between the Hamilton Lake and Victoria Street (the main street) and then travelled across the Waikato River to Hamilton East where damage occurred in Wellington, Naylor and Grey Street’s.

Buildings were lifted off their piles, chimneys were snapped off, houses were unroofed houses, trees uprooted and power and telephone lines were left hanging in the streets. The air was filled with flying corrugated iron, branches of trees, timber and other debris. Heavy rain accompanied the storm and overhead lightning flashed and thunder boomed. The storm passed quickly and was succeeded by a strange calm.

New Zealand is not known for its tornados like other parts of the world but the country was reminded of the fury of the wind when three people lost their lives in another tornado near Waitara, Taranaki in 2004.


DILLICAR Mary Jane Wife of Joseph Henry DILLICAR of 80a Lake Road, Frankton aged 76 years
KITCHEN Beatrice Wife of Julius KITCHEN of 78 Lake Road, Frankton aged 67 years
SMITH Jack Kaa Son of the late Edwin SMITH and Ada MOORE of Havelock St, Ngaruawahia aged 15 years

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