Tornado kills 3 in Auckland, New Zealand (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

A tornado, along with thunderstorms and heavy rain, wreaked havoc in Auckland, New Zealand, killing three people. The storm flooded streets and some 150 houses, and authorities called for an evacuation of the hardest-hit areas.

­The storm, which hit the western suburbs of the Auckland metropolitan area on Thursday around noon, was one of the deadliest tornados the country has seen in 60 years. Though the storm only lasted for around five minutes, it caused extensive damage to the Hobsonville and Whenuapai districts.

The wind speed of the tornado itself was not measured, but the Whenuapai Air Force base registered gale-force winds of 110 kph during the storm.

Three hours later, a smaller tornado hit the town of Rotorua, some 235 kilometers from Auckland.

Tornados are rare in New Zealand, only occurring up to seven times a year. New Zealand tornados are usually mild, measuring around 30 meters wide and seldom reaching the destructive force of the storms that regularly hit the US Midwest.

Three people were killed by falling objects during the storm: One person was hit by a tree and two construction workers at a school died when concrete slabs fell on them.

Seven injured people were reportedly delivered to hospitals, while around 250 residents were evacuated to the Whenuapai Air Force base.

The winds tore off roofs, uprooted trees and overturned lightweight structures, an Auckland Council spokesperson said. Electricity was interrupted in many locations, and some streets were blocked by flooding from the heavy rains.

The storm also caused a significant number of delays to domestic and international flights.

In May 2011, a tornado in Auckland killed one person. The last time a tornado caused three fatalities in New Zealand was a 1948 storm in the city of Hamilton.

Rescue workers survey the site in the suburb of Hobsonville after a tornado went through the western suburb in Auckland December 6, 2012. (Reuters/Nigel Marple)
Rescue workers survey the site in the suburb of Hobsonville after a tornado went through the western suburb in Auckland December 6, 2012. (Reuters/Nigel Marple)
A worker starts clearing roads amid the devastation in the suburb of Hobsonville after a tornado went through the western suburb in Auckland December 6, 2012. (Reuters/Nigel Marple)
A worker starts clearing roads amid the devastation in the suburb of Hobsonville after a tornado went through the western suburb in Auckland December 6, 2012. (Reuters/Nigel Marple)
Police patrol the roads amid the devastation in the suburb of Hobsonville after a tornado went through the western suburb in Auckland December 6, 2012. (Reuters/Nigel Marple)
Police patrol the roads amid the devastation in the suburb of Hobsonville after a tornado went through the western suburb in Auckland December 6, 2012. (Reuters/Nigel Marple)
A resident checks a boat amid the devastation in the suburb of Hobsonville after a tornado went through the western suburb in Auckland December 6, 2012. (Reuters/Nigel Marple)
A resident checks a boat amid the devastation in the suburb of Hobsonville after a tornado went through the western suburb in Auckland December 6, 2012. (Reuters/Nigel Marple)
Residents look out at the devastation in the suburb of Hobsonville after a tornado went through the western suburb in Auckland December 6, 2012. (Reuters/Nigel Marple)
Residents look out at the devastation in the suburb of Hobsonville after a tornado went through the western suburb in Auckland December 6, 2012. (Reuters/Nigel Marple)