Australia in pictures: from bushfires to giant hailstones
Dust clouds, flooding and golf ball sized hailstones hit fire-ravaged country
Australia’s weather problems worsened over the weekend, as hail storms, dust clouds and flooding hit the country, amid continuing bushfires.
The capital, Canberra, suffered a violent storm that saw hailstones as big as golf balls come down on the city, putting holes in car windows and damaging buildings and trees.
The storms brought flash flooding, and cut off several power supplies in Canberra. At least two people were injured, says Sky News.
Hail also hit Melbourne, a city still recovering from bushfires that left its air quality “the worst in the world”, according to the state’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton.
Brisbane and the Gold Coast experienced flooding as a result of unusually intense storms in the area.
In the west of New South Wales, the drought-hit towns of Dubbo, Nyngan, Parkes and Broken Hill were choked by a 300km-wide dust cloud that covered the area and was whipped around by winds of up to 66mph.
The dust is mostly a result of top soil from New South Wales farms, where deadly bushfires have been raging.
Dubbo mayor Ben Shields said the dust clouds were “part and parcel of this record drought we’ve got at the moment”.
The bushfires hit the country in September last year, and have so far claimed 28 lives, while destroying more than 2,600 homes.
More than 25 million acres have been destroyed and half a billion animals killed in bushfires that have raged across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.