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Two storm deaths in Australia – firefighter dies while fighting blaze

Two storm deaths in Australia – firefighter dies while fighting blaze

An electrical storm is seen at Reedy Creek on the Gold Coast on Monday, December 25, 2023. A woman has died after being hit by a tree on the Gold Coast after 100 km/h winds knocked down trees and power lines. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) No Archiving Keystone/AAP/Dave Hunt


(Keystone SDA) At least two people have died in severe storms in eastern Australia. A 59-year-old woman died after a tree fell during the storm on the Gold Coast, south of Brisbane, Queensland state police said on Tuesday, according to local media reports. Also, 5 people, including a nine-year-old girl who was swept away by the flood, are missing in the area. A man was tragically killed by a falling tree branch in Karingal, east of Melbourne, Victoria.

A boat with ten passengers capsized off the coast of Brisbane due to the storm. Eight may have been rescued, two are still missing. In Queensland, about 120,000 homes were without power due to storm damage to power lines, the local utility said. The Australian Weather Service has warned of heavy rain and thunderstorms across the east coast for several days. Over Christmas, heavy rain caused flash flooding in the Sydney metropolitan area, leaving streets and buildings under water. Elsewhere there was hail. The storm is expected to taper off Wednesday.

The west of the vast continent, on the other hand, is plagued by drought and wildfires. A member of the volunteer fire department has been reported dead in an operation south-east of Perth's metropolitan area. The cause of the youth's fall from the fire truck on Tuesday is not yet clear. The state of Western Australia, which has Perth as its capital, has seen many wildfires. Large parts of the state recently experienced an unseasonal heat wave with record temperatures.

Australia is particularly affected by climate change. A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change from February 2022 assumes that the country will be affected by more frequent natural events in the future.