World News

Severe Storms Cause Tree Damage and Home Destruction as Strong Winds Hit Eastern Region

Emergency services are cleaning up as storms and powerful winds sweep across Australia’s east, downing trees and damaging homes in Sydney and parts of Victoria.

In the southern state, Victoria State Emergency Service crews responded to nearly 350 calls for help overnight, including more than 100 reports of building damage.

More than one-third of the call-outs were for the Warrnambool region on the state’s southwest coast.

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The town recorded wind gusts of more than 100 km/h on Friday morning, accompanied by widespread showers.

Wind gusts of about 80km/h hit Sydney late on Thursday and early on Friday, leaving New South Wales (NSW) SES crews scrambling to respond to calls for help.

Some parts of Sydney and inland NSW were also hit with brief, heavy downpours, although many areas were spared from significant rain.

A NSW SES spokesman said crews had responded to more than 70 calls across the state since midnight on Friday, the majority being within Sydney.

The city’s northern beaches region was among the areas hardest hit.

Three trees fell on one home in Frenchs Forest, and firefighters were called in to help as more trees threatened to collapse on the property.

“Considering the intensity of the wind gusts overnight, the damage wasn’t as bad as it could have been,” the spokesman told AAP.

Severe weather warnings remained in place on Friday morning across much of Victoria’s south, including Melbourne, as well as parts of NSW and South Australia.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned wind gusts of up to 110km/h could hit Victoria’s southwest coast before the storms travelled east, reaching the west Gippsland coast later in the afternoon.

The SES warned people to avoid travel if possible and to be wary of any hazards like floodwater or debris such as fallen trees.

The bureau predicted a cold and windy day for Melbourne, with a high chance of showers and the possibility of hail.

In Sydney, morning showers were expected to clear, and winds ease before a mostly sunny afternoon, while people in Canberra were also told to expect a cold day with showers and blustery winds.

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