Thunderstorms, flooding in Australia kill 10 and cause widespread blackouts

Thunderstorms, flooding in Australia kill 10

In Australia, they are facing severe thunderstorms and flooding that battered the eastern part of the country over the Christmas period. Authorities are confirming the deaths of ten individuals. The states of Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland bore the brunt of wild weather on December 25 and 26. They are experiencing large hailstones, torrential rains, and powerful winds that caused significant damage. As a result, more than 90,000 households remain without power.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carrol reported that three men lost their lives. It happened after a yacht carrying 11 people capsized near Green Island in Moreton Bay during the storm. Additionally, two women were found dead near Gympie, swept away in flooded stormwater drains. While a nine-year-old girl was discovered dead after going missing in a drain in Brisbane’s south.

The devastating storms also led to concerns about rising rivers and streams potentially bursting banks, posing a threat to campgrounds that typically see an influx of visitors during the Christmas and New Year weeks. A man in Victoria was found dead in a campground following flash flooding, and it is believed he was camping with a woman who was found dead earlier.

Falling trees claimed the lives of two more individuals, adding to the toll from the destructive weather events. The storms also caused the unprecedented downing of a concrete power line, contributing to the extensive damage in Queensland.

Bureau of Meteorology

Queensland Premier Steven Miles highlighted the substantial economic impact, stating that the combined damage from Cyclone Jasper earlier in the month and the recent thunderstorms could amount to “the billions.”

While the Bureau of Meteorology forecasted further rain, it was expected that the intense weather conditions would ease later in the day. Forecaster Jonathan How emphasized the risk of severe thunderstorms persisting across the east coast.

The recent storms follow a series of climate-related challenges for Australia. It is including intense heatwaves in the spring, bushfires, and the widespread damage caused by Cyclone Jasper. Simon Bradshaw, the research director at the Climate Council, remarked on the escalating climate consequences, highlighting the need for comprehensive climate action.

As the east grapples with rain and flooding in Australia, parts of the west are contending with bushfires. It is resulting in the tragic death of a volunteer firefighter. The country’s December-February summer, influenced by the El Niño phenomenon, showcases the wide range of weather extremes. From wildfires to cyclones and prolonged droughts.

Sumann Senguptaa

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