One in 100 year storm lashes Syd­ney

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

SYD­NEY: Tor­ren­tial rain and gale force winds lashed Aus­tralia’s big­gest city of Syd­ney yes­ter­day caus­ing com­muter chaos, flood­ing streets, rail­way sta­tions and homes, ground­ing flights and leav­ing hun­dreds of peo­ple without elec­tric­ity.

One per­son was killed in a car crash and two po­lice of­fi­cers se­ri­ously in­jured when a tree fell on them as they helped a stranded mo­torist.

Greg Transell, an of­fice man­ager in Syd­ney’s north, told the Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion that strong winds caused wide­spread dis­rup­tion to the tower block of­fice where he works.

“I started to go up­stairs to see if there was any dam­age and next minute there was an almighty bang and it ripped pan­els off the roof in the ware­house.”.

Aus­tralia’s Bu­reau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy aid within just a few hours Syd­ney got more than 100mm of rain, a level that the coun­try’s most pop­u­lous city would nor­mally get through the whole of Novem­ber.

“That’s the sort of rain­fall you’d ex­pect to see once ev­ery 100 years,” Ann Far­rell, the bu­reau’s state man­ager, told re­porters.

Syd­ney Air­port, the coun­try’s busiest, said 130 flights had been can­celled or de­layed af­ter it was forced to close two of its three run­ways.

“The storm is pretty in­tense in and around the air­port,” Cait Kyann, an air­port spokesman, told Reuters.

Aus­grid, the na­tion’s big­gest elec­tric­ity net­work, said the storm had cut power to 8,100 cus­tomers in Syd­ney and the Cen­tral Coast area to its north.

There was chaos on Syd­ney’s roads as the storm struck only hours be­fore the main morn­ing peak hour, trans­form­ing some streets into fast-flow­ing rivers and parks into lakes.

Sev­eral stranded mo­torists were plucked from ris­ing flood­wa­ters.

“We are ask­ing all road users to re­con­sider the need to be on the roads through­out what will be a se­vere rain event,” a po­lice of­fi­cial said. – Reuters

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