Story: Natural hazards – overview

Wahine capsizing

Wahine capsizing

On 10 April 1968, the Lyttelton–Wellington ferry Wahine capsized in Wellington Harbour during a fierce storm. The severe weather was caused by the collision of a tropical cyclone Giselle with a southerly front directly over Wellington. Massive waves and hurricane-force winds carried the ship onto Barrett Reef, near the harbour entrance. Of the 734 passengers and crew on board, 53 died. The storm caused serious damage, flooding, and injuries from flying debris.

Since 1968, weather forecasting has improved, and extreme events can be identified and tracked by satellite.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1968/1647/14

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney and Simon Nathan, 'Natural hazards – overview - Living dangerously', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 June 2024)

Story by Eileen McSaveney and Simon Nathan, published 12 Jun 2006