At least five people have died in severe storms in eastern Australia. Among them was a nine-year-old girl who was swept away by floodwaters in a Brisbane suburb and washed into the sewage system, Queensland state police said, according to local media reports.
In the state, a 59-year-old who was killed by a tree on the Gold Coast and a man who drowned in the sea off Brisbane after a boat capsized also died. Eight other inmates were rescued, two are still missing.
In the state of Victoria, two people were killed as a result of the storm: in the town of Caringal, east of Melbourne, a man was fatally injured by a falling branch. North of the city of over a million people, a woman died at a campsite when a tree fell.
Around 100,000 households without electricity
In Queensland, around 100,000 households were without electricity due to storm damage to power lines, the local utility reported. The Australian Weather Service has been warning of heavy rain and thunderstorms across almost the entire east coast for days. At Christmas, heavy rain caused flash floods in the metropolis of Sydney, with streets and buildings under water. Elsewhere it was hailing. The storms should ease on Wednesday.
The west of the huge continent, on the other hand, is plagued by drought and bushfires. It was said that a member of the volunteer fire department died in an operation southeast of the metropolis of Perth. The young man fell from a fire truck on Tuesday for reasons that are still unclear. There are several fires in the state of Western Australia, whose capital is Perth. Large parts of the state recently experienced an unseasonable heat wave with record temperatures.
Australia is particularly affected by climate change. A report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change from February 2022 assumes that the country will be hit by devastating natural events even more frequently in the future.