Winter storm disrupts air traffic in New Zealand

AP News
Posted: Jun 20, 2013 9:45 PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A winter storm bearing powerful winds has disrupted air traffic across New Zealand, cut power to some homes and forced schools to close.

The capital Wellington got blasted Friday with winds of more than 130 kilometers (81 miles) per hour. The gusts disrupted bus, rail and road transportation, brought down trees and power lines, and ripped tiles from suburban roofs. About 28,000 homes in Wellington lost power.

The storm also brought heavy snow to some parts of the South Island.

National carrier Air New Zealand cancelled all Wellington flights Friday morning and said it would resume limited services in the afternoon. It warned that passengers could expect ongoing disruptions and international flights to and from the capital would be affected. Flights from Christchurch and Queenstown were also cancelled or delayed.