Tornado lashes southeast Australia, leaving hundreds without power

Tornado lashes southeast Australia, leaving hundreds without power

TORNADO. Debris flying around a tornado funnel in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia September 30, 2021.

Dean Whiting via Reuters

The tornado is part of a weather system crossing Australia's most populous state and causing thunderstorms

A tornado tore through Australia’s rural southeast on Thursday, September 30, ripping roofs off houses, uprooting trees, toppling power lines, and causing minor injuries, authorities said.

Police and ambulance crews were called to Meadow Flat, a town of 300 people near the regional center of Bathurst, following reports of a tornado destroying a house just after noon, the emergency services said.

A man was taken to hospital with cuts to his arm. About 20 minutes later, the crews went to Clear Creek, with a population of about 100, about 30 km (20 miles) away, where a man and a woman were treated for minor injuries, the New South Wales ambulance service said.

“It’s not every day you get called out to a tornado and this one packed quite a punch,” said NSW Ambulance Inspector Meah Ferguson.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Agata Imielska said the tornado was part of a weather system crossing Australia’s most populous state and causing thunderstorms.

The NSW State Emergency Service issued a warning for people to secure loose items outside their homes.

The tornado upended power lines and blew part of an iron roof into electricity wires, triggering an automatic power outage for 164 homes, said Essential Energy.

“Crews are working as quickly as safety allows to clear debris and carry out repairs to the network, however there is no restoration time available at present,” a spokesperson said in a statement. –