The Papatoetoe community is bravely banding together and rolling up their sleeves in the aftermath of Saturday's deadly tornado.
The freak weather event, which lasted for a matter of seconds on Saturday morning in South Auckland, claimed the life of 41-year-old mechanic Janesh Prasad who was working on a forklift at a container yard in Wiri when the tornado struck.
It is understood the father-of-two was killed after being thrown at a distance and hitting a solid object. A truck driver at the site was also hospitalised with moderate injuries.
Prasad's tragic death punctuated a trail of destruction left across Papatoetoe and Manurewa as vehicles were flipped, windows shattered, roofs ripped open and shipping containers sent flying.
Under clear blue skies on Monday morning, residents along Puhinui Rd, Wallace Rd, Fitzroy St and more were out in force, starting what will be a long clean-up.
Debris littered the footpaths, roof tiles scattered everywhere. Cars with smashed windscreens were a common sight.
Builders, with hands on hips, surveyed the damage while their lackeys pulled out rubbish for disposal. Chainsaws echoed in the background as uprooted trees were cut up.
Shazmin Nisha and Mohammed Shafil's Puhinui Rd construction site stood out from most. The once two-storey house frame had been reduced to one, the bottom floor collapsing during the tornado.
Nisha, whose house behind the site was largely unharmed, said she rushed home on Saturday morning when she received a call from her builder about the damage.
"It looked like a disaster, there's no words to [describe it]."
The property was supposed to be completed in August to house Nisha, Shafil and their 5-year-old son while they renovated their current home. Now, they face a nervous wait for the insurance assessor tomorrow to give their verdict.
"I'm hoping everything will be good. I don't really know what will happen."
Andy Zhang, 36, was shocked by the sudden ferocity with which the tornado hit his Fitzroy St home that he even entertained the possibility it was an alien invasion.
As the reality dawned on him, Zhang's thoughts turned to the safety of his family as windows shattered and the house shook.
"I definitely thought I was going to die because I've never seen anything like that before."
The home has been classed uninhabitable. Zhang, wife Kelly Huang and their two daughters are staying with family as they wait for insurance advice.
In the meantime, Zhang and Huang faced a substantial clean-up job which included removing the brick chimney which had crushed the front of Zhang's work van after being dislodged by the tornado.
However, both seemed positive and were thankful for the many offers of food, blankets and help from neighbours.
"The community is doing great, we have free food, free blankets, people showing sympathy for us," Zhang said.
Umesh Prasad, 49, echoed Zhang, saying the tornado had brought the community together.
The Puhinui Rd resident was busy sorting scattered roofing tiles on his three-year rental's front lawn when the NZ Herald visited him. Fortunately, its tenants had left two weeks ago and the house had been empty on Saturday.
However, the damage had been severe. Multiple holes gaped in the roof, glass and debris covered the floors, and the walls and ceilings were sodden.
"After three years, it didn't take three seconds for everything to be gone," Prasad said.
He was concerned the roof could soon collapse if it wasn't covered, which he said required a visit from his insurance company. Prasad had rung multiple times but was unsure when he might see an assessor.
Kathleen Waller's 1936 home would be one of the oldest on Puhinui Rd but somehow escaped with little damage compared to most.
Waller, from the United States, suffered broken fences, smashed windows and two damaged cars but feared a lot worse when the tornado hit.
"It felt like a train coming through our house," Kathleen said.
"I went through a hurricane in Virginia and it was nothing like this ... [the hurricane] wasn't nearly as terrifying as that 30 seconds."
Early estimates indicated more than 1200 homes were affected and more than 60 homes were uninhabitable.
The Insurance Council of New Zealand chief executive Tim Grafton said insurers had received more than 300 claims relating to the tornado and expected this figure to increase.
The Government provided $100,000 to Auckland Council to support residents. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said further financial assistance would be provided if necessary.