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Winter storm disrupts air traffic in New Zealand, cuts power to homes and closes schools

A winter storm bearing powerful winds disrupted air traffic across New Zealand on Friday as well as cutting power to some homes and forcing schools to close.

The capital Wellington got blasted 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. Some flights from Christchurch and Queenstown were also cancelled or delayed.

Forecasters expected conditions to improve Saturday.