Autumn storms wreak havoc on Australia

Wet and windy weather sweeps across the Great Australian Bight, downing trees and power lines.

    This is some of the windiest weather to hit the region for several months, and in some cases, almost five years [Dean Lewins/EPA]
    This is some of the windiest weather to hit the region for several months, and in some cases, almost five years [Dean Lewins/EPA]

    Heavy rain and damaging winds battered parts of southeast Australia over the weekend.

    Trees and power lines were brought down in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania as the severe weather swept across the region.

    Rainfall amounts were typically around 15mm on Saturday and Sunday, but as much as 40mm was recorded over the northeast ranges. This is an area that normally sees about 50mm of rain for the entire month of May.

    Of greater significance was the strength of the winds which reached gusts of more than 100km/h. The highest gusts were recorded in Tasmania where winds peaked at 130km/h.

    Dozens of trees and buildings were damaged resulting in more than 600 emergency calls. There were widespread blackouts across Victoria where as many as 36,000 homes were without power at the height of the storm.

    This is some of the windiest weather to hit the region for several months, and in some cases, such as Smithton, Tasmania, almost five years. Residents in Ashwood, a southeast suburb of Melbourne, said the area looked like it had been hit by a tornado.

    An area of high pressure in the Tasman Sea should allow the weather to settle down over the next few days before blustery showers roll in from the Great Australian Bight by the end of the weekend.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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