A massive rain storm swept across Australia on Saturday, sweeping down over four states and leaving more than 80,000 people without power and forcing the closure of several major highways.
The storm also caused widespread flooding across the eastern parts of the country, with at least 30,000 homes and businesses without power.
The National Weather Service said the rainfall was the worst it had recorded in five years and there were reports of power cuts in some areas.
The storms come after a powerful and prolonged rainstorm in the state of Victoria.
On Sunday morning, the storm made landfall near Victoria’s southern coast, bringing heavy rain and heavy winds, with Victoria Governor Colin Barnett describing the heavy rainfall as “absolutely unprecedented”.
“This is not a one-off event,” Mr Barnett said.
“This event has not been seen in many years.”
The fact that it’s happened in Victoria is a bit of a surprise to us, but we’re confident that we will get a lot of that rain back in the future.
“We’ve got a lot more than what we have at the moment, so it’s not something that we are going to be able to put a ceiling on.”
Victoria has the largest number of wind turbines on the eastern seaboard.
We’ve got lots of power out there.
“Mr Barnett said he expected wind turbines to start working in the next couple of days and warned people not to rely on the grid for power as it may go out in the morning.”
The storm is expected to dump heavy rain on the northern state of South Australia, with more than 50,000 houses damaged or destroyed in the region.”
We’ve been warned about this issue.”
The storm is expected to dump heavy rain on the northern state of South Australia, with more than 50,000 houses damaged or destroyed in the region.
The Victorian Emergency Services Minister said about 20,000 properties had been evacuated as a precautionary measure.
“As a precaution, we’ve had some homes evacuated,” Ms Dutton said.
Ms Dutton added that power was being restored to more than 90,000 premises, with power lines still being grounded in the area.
“I would urge people not rely on that power line, which is what it’s called,” she said.
Emergency services were also treating more than 60 people for hypothermia and another five for cardiac arrest.
“Our response is very different to what we had in Victoria,” Ms Anderson said.”[We’re] dealing with a very large area and a very long track and there’s a lot that needs to be done.”
People who are experiencing any of these issues are going through a very difficult time, so we are taking very, very cautious measures to ensure that we get them the support that they need.
“There’s a large number of people that are still in their homes, and we’re hoping that that will continue to improve.”
The National Health Service is advising people to remain indoors during the storm as it remains hazardous to breathe, and has warned against wearing face masks.
The weather service said more than 2,500 people had been admitted to hospitals across Victoria and there was a major surge in emergency cases, with the highest number of admissions in Melbourne, Melbourne and Canberra.
“These are not isolated incidents and they’re not isolated events that will go away overnight,” the weather service’s meteorologist, Dr Andrew Taylor, said.ABC/AAP