29 Jan 2011

House plunges off cliff on Waiheke Island

3:45 pm on 29 January 2011

The Auckland Council says it has no further concerns about properties surrounding a slip on Waiheke Island.

Two women woken by their dog narrowly escaped just before the bach they were sleeping in plunged 30 metres off a cliff onto the beach at Onetangi following heavy rain.

The barking of a dog alerted the women, who escaped just before the bach plunged off the cliff.

Emergency services were alerted at about 5am on Saturday.

Auckland Council says the remains of the bach, which was on Garratt Road in the suburb of Onetangi, are lying scattered on Onetangi beach.

Building control manager Ian McCormick says the women were lucky not to be killed.

Widespread damage in wake of Wilma

Several houses in the upper North Island have been damaged or destroyed following torrential rain from the remnants of Cyclone Wilma.

In eastern Bay of Plenty, two people were taken to hospital suffering from shock and minor injuries after a house was destroyed by a landslip in the township of Taneatua.

Two other houses were damaged by landslides: one in Rotoma, north of Kawerau, the other in Stanmore Bay on the Whangaparoa Peninsula.

Their occupants were not injured.

Flooding disrupts traffic

The police say State Highway 16 north of Auckland has reopened in both directions.

The road is the alternative route north, as State Highway 1 is closed at Dome Valley near Warkworth.

State Highway 2, south of Auckland, is also closed at Mangatawhiri heading towards Coromandel.

The electricity lines company Vector says 113 properties are still without power in the Whangapiro area, near Wellsford.

A spokesperson for the company says it may be several hours before power is restored, as flooding submerged a pole.