In New Zealand, seven school students are missing after they were swept down a river. Wild storms are causing chaos across the country's North Island, and a man was killed when he was struck by lightning earlier in the day.
The students were in the Tongariro National Park on an outing with the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre when they were swept down a river. A helicopter is searching for them but the weather is making things difficult.
Police will not say how old the students are or what part of the new Zealand they are from. A man was killed this afternoon when he was struck by lightning while on a horse ride at Dargaville north of Auckland. Six of his friends were injured. Sergeant Jonathon Tier says one rider was a paramedic, but he could not save the life of his friend.
A bolt of lightning struck in the middle of this group, striking a male horse rider, it appears to have killed him and his horse instantly, he said. Tourist operators in the Bay of Islands have cancelled boat trips. But the wild weather is being welcomed by farmers, some of whom have received 120 millimetres of much-needed rain.