18 Mar 2015

Wild weather continues for Chathams

10:04 am on 18 March 2015

Gales, rain and heavy swells are expected to continue in the Chatham Islands where about 50 people remain without power today.

Some residents have evacuated from their homes, trees have been toppled, and a wharf has been damaged by the tail of Cyclone Pam.

One resident, Bernadette Lim, who lost power at her home, after a tree landed on power lines said she took refuge at the hotel where she works.

"We had someone come round knocking on our doors at about five o'clock just to advise us that we wont have power for the next three days."

She said many families on the island took refuge at Kopinga Marae.

Rebecca Coleman from police in Chatham Islands told Radio New Zealand the wind had picked up this morning, and some homes were still without power, but the islands appear to have escaped with no major damage.

Owner of Hotel Chatham, Toni Croon, said she had experienced strong gales and wind before, but not for as long.

"Oh you didn't venture outside, everyone was just told to stay indoors and don't move, one look outside and you'd know not to go out."

Ms Croon said eight tourists were stranded at the hotel because flights had been cancelled.

MetService said the severe weather would today bring swells of up to 9 meters and gales of up to 120 kms/hr.

The storm is forecast to move gradually southeast from the Chathams in the next 48 hours.