Two people have died and more than 100,000 homes were left without power as a result of thunderstorms that battered Australia’s east coast, with warnings of more wild weather to come.
Intense storms affected all three eastern states on Monday, with more than 1,200 calls for help to state emergency services and Sydney airport recording its wettest Christmas Day on record.
Victoria police confirmed a man died at a property in Caringal after a tree branch fell on him on Tuesday morning.
“Emergency services provided medical assistance, however the yet-to-be formally identified man died at the scene,” police said in a statement.
It comes after the Queensland ambulance service confirmed a woman had died in Helensvale on the Gold Coast after being hit by a falling tree on Monday night.
Paramedic Jaye Newton said the scene where the woman died was “confronting”.
He described scenes “like a disaster zone” as he was forced to drive around fallen trees on the motorway.
“It was an extraordinary weather event,” he said.
“There were trees all over the road. We are talking whole big trees uprooted.”
A man in his 70s was injured by a tree branch that fell on to a tent, also in Helensvale. He was in a stable condition in hospital with pelvic and back injuries.
Another man in his 90s was also in a stable condition with head injuries after a roof collapsed on him.
Queensland’s deputy premier, Cameron Dick, described the weather as a “mini cyclone,” adding that the intensity of the storm was unprecedented.
“This has been unprecedented in some ways, with power poles being torn out of the ground and a concrete power pole damaged for