Skymet weather

Rare tornado rips through Sydney

December 17, 2015 12:24 PM |

A rare tornado struck Australia’s largest city, Sydney on Wednesday. The tornado was accompanied by dangerous winds of over 200 kmph and cricket ball sized hail. This brought down trees and power lines, ripped off roofs and walls of buildings and also caused flash flooding in several areas.

This tornado was a result of a severe storm system that had moved northward from the coast, towards Sydney. This forces the airport authorities to divert many international and domestic flights. According to witnesses, the entire episode was horrific and the winds were so strong that it ripped off roofs and debris were flying all around, almost all the cars were destroyed.

Kurnell, a suburb located close to Sydney’s airport was shut down completely due to winds, blowing at a speed of about 213 kmph. A shopping center in eastern Sydney had to be evacuated after a portion of the roof had collapsed, injuring one woman. Social media was flooded by pictures of the devastation and the huge dark engulfing the city. Around 6000 homes were without power on the southern side of the city. The rescue department received more than 200 calls for help.

The tornado risk has now subsided, but there are chances of more thunderstorms today.

Australia is in midst of an El Nino weather pattern, which is categorized by extreme droughts, floods and storms. This time, the El Nino phenomenon is set to be the strongest on record.

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