New Zealand Winter Storm: Insurance Claims Swell as Air Flights Get Disrupted, Power Shutdown
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | June 21, 2013 3:24 PM EST
Insurance claims in New Zealand have started to pile up following the polar storm that have disrupted air flights in the country, cut off power lines as well as forced the closure of schools.
Tower Insurance reported receiving more than 150 claims, many from Wellington, the most ravaged by the storm.
"Claims ranged from roofs being blown off homes, to trees on rooftops, damage to fences and flooded carpets," Tracey Palmer, Tower Insurance spokeswoman, was quoted by Stuff.co.nz.
"A lot of sections of roof have blown off, carports have collapsed and we've got a trampoline on a roof," an emergency services spokesman told Courier Mail.
New Zealand's capital of Wellington experienced winds of more than 130 kilometers (81 miles) per hour, which not only disrupted vital bus, rail and road transportation networks, but also brought down trees and power lines. About 28,000 Wellington homes lost power.
Air New Zealand was forced to cancel all flights to and from Wellington on Friday morning, while also suspending services at Dunedin in the South Island. Although the national carrier said it could resume limited services in the afternoon, it warned passengers to expect disruptions, especially on international flights to and from the capital.
Neville Brown, Wellington acting Civil Defence controller, said restoration crews continue to work overtime to clear roads to resume public transport services.
More than 150 schools closed on Friday due to the wild weather.
The storm is not expected to abate until the weekend, Ramon Oosterkamp, manager of public weather services at the MetService in Wellington, said.
"The source region for the air is the Antarctic. We're still in the middle of it."
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