الأربعاء , يونيو 17 2020

Three dead in New South Wales storm

An uprooted tree fall on a parked car in the residential area of the western Sydney following an over night strong storm on 21 April 2015.

The SES has said that winds have been “cyclonic” in some areas

Three people have died in New South Wales as powerful storms batter the Australian state.

Police are trying to determine how the two men and a woman found dead in Dungog, a town hard hit by floods north of Sydney, had died.

Some 215,000 homes are without power in Sydney and across New South Wales since the storm hit on Monday.

Winds of up to 135km/h (85 mph) were recorded in some areas, with up to 200mm of rainfall forecast for Tuesday.

Australia map

The State Emergency Service (SES) said it had received more than 4,400 calls for help, with dozens of flood rescues.

People were reported to be trapped in cars and homes and stuck on the rooftops of houses.

A Carnival cruise ship is stuck at sea outside Sydney Harbour and dozens of flights have been delayed, local media reported.

‘Cyclonic’ winds

The SES said that most of the calls had come from Sydney and the regions of Hunter, Central Coast and Illawarra.

A major flood warning has been issued for the Paterson and Williams Rivers in Hunter.

NSW police said in a statement that “numerous calls were received by emergency services for assistance, particularly in the Stroud and Dungog areas.”

They also confirmed the deaths of three people in Dungog but said that the circumstances surrounding their deaths were still to be determined. In Dungog, 312mm of rain fell in just 24 hours.

Pedestrians shelter under umbrellas from heavy rain in Sydney, NSW, Australia, 20 April 2015

Winds of up to 135km/h (85 mph) were recorded overnight

A jogger struggles against sand whipped up by strong winds at Bondi Beach in Sydney on 21 April 2015.

Beach conditions are reported to be especially dangerous in the Metropolitan, Hunter and Illawarra districts

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Eyewitness account: Glenn Wall, Dungog Shire councillor

There is no mobile phone reception in Dungog and the landlines are not working.

Every river system that we have up here is in severe flood mode. I have heard [from officials] that four houses have been inundated and washed away.

It has been raining for about 24 hours now but in the early hours of this morning it really started coming down heavily.

I have real concern about the next 24 hours because there are reports of another storm front coming in from the north.

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SES Deputy Commissioner Steven Pearce told ABC News that the number of calls for help had been “enormous”.

“We haven’t seen this sort of weather pattern, this east coast low or one as severe as this in years,” he said.

“The consistent gale force winds which are actually cyclonic in some areas with gusts up to 135km/h.”

The strongest winds overnight were recorded at Norah Head in the Central Coast region.

On Tuesday, a severe weather warning remained in place for damaging and destructive winds, heavy rain and damaging surf.

The areas affected are the Metropolitan, Hunter and Illawarra districts. Beach conditions in these regions are said to be particularly dangerous.

Local media have also reported that an 11m (36ft) wave was seen off Sydney.

Visitors look out at heavy seas whipped up by strong winds at Bondi Beach in Sydney on 21 April 2015.

Some ferry services have been cancelled because of dangerous conditions

State-owned supplier Ausgrid tweeted that some 215,000 homes and businesses were without power across Sydney, Central Coast and Hunter.

It added that although emergency crews were working at several locations, the storm was continuing to damage the network and repairs could take several days.

The heavy winds and rain have also caused travel disruption in Sydney.

The Transport Management Centre for NSW said that staying home may be the best option for many people.

“If you don’t need to be out on the road, probably best not to be,” said spokesman Brett Moore, as quoted by ABC News.

A number of main roads and railway lines have had to be closed because of the storm.

Transport NSW have also cancelled the Manly Fast ferry service because of the dangerous weather conditions.

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