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.
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