Australia's southeast hit by hailstones amid bushfires - VIDEO | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

26 February, Wednesday


Australia's southeast hit by hailstones amid bushfires - VIDEO

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Australia's southeast was already dealing with the terrible effects of historic bushfires and huge smoke clouds. Then Canberra, Melbourne and other places were hit by golf-ball-sized hail that destroyed car windshields, killed birds and shredded the leaves off trees, NPR reports.

The Bureau of Meteorology in New South Wales, the country's most populous state, warned residents of "damaging winds, large, possibly giant hailstones and heavy rainfall" as it issued severe thunderstorm warnings in the east and northeast.

The storms also prompted warnings of flash floods — adding another element of risk to areas that have been hit hard by the fires.

In the Australian Capital Territory, which includes the capital city of Canberra, the weather service reported hail Monday measuring up to nearly 2 inches in diameter — accompanied by wind gusts that were near hurricane-strength.

The storm was intense and fast-moving. The territory's Emergency Services Agency reported receiving a record 1,900 calls for help — more than three times the average for a storm. All of those calls came in after midday, the agency said.

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