Tornado looting fears after burglary

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 12:49 09/12/2012
Auckland tornado
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A fire rescue crew at a building site near Walingford Way in Hobsonville.

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Cordons around West Auckland's tornado damaged streets have been tightened following resident's fears that looters might be having a go.

The Hobsonville Point area was hit by a tornado on Thursday, killing three men working on a construction site. Around $11 million worth of damage was inflicted on houses in the area.

Civil Defence spokesperson Clive Manley said the cordons had been relaxed on Friday night to allow contractors and residents into the area to begin cleaning up.

During the time there was one confirmed case of burglary.

"We had a confirmed case and anecdotally we have heard from residents that they may have been another case as well," he said.

"You would have hoped in a case like this that people would have acted in a principled way, but there is always the odd rat-bag who takes advantage of a situation."

The area was also hit by sightseers yesterday, getting in the way of a clean-up.

Manley said police at the cordons would be taking a closer interest in people going into the area, and contractors would need to prove their identities.

He said there were 22 houses that were likely to be written off by insurance companies as beyond repair.

Last night Civil Defence helped with accommodation for 29 people without a place to stay.

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