A violent storm hit central Victoria, Australia on March 18, 2016. Strong winds ripped off roofs, brought down trees and caused power outages. A Severe Weather Warning for damaging winds is in effect for the Central, West and South Gippsland and East Gippsland forecast districts.
By 16:00 local time (05:00 UTC), State Emergency Service received over 1 150 calls for help. SES spokeswoman Jacquie Quaine said most of the damage recorded across Victoria was trees falling onto roads, leaking roofs and debris blowing into properties. Fallen trees and debris caused major delays on several Metro train lines and traffic was also affected, SkyNews Australia reported.
Weather situation over Victoria, Australia on March 18, 2016. Image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS
Wyndham Vale resident Rebecca Walters said the storm at her house sounded like a mini-tornado. Walters heard a massive noise that sounded like something being ripped off the house.
"We got out of bed and then about 20 minutes later realised our air cooler was gone," she said for ABC News.
Bureau of Meteorology said Melbourne received about 25 mm (1 inch) while Dandenongs had 50 mm.
Wind gusts in Melbourne reached 95 km/h (59 mph), 117 km/h (72.7 mph) at Mt Hotham and 165 km/h (102 mph) at Wilsons Promontory. Bureau warned it will remain windy in West and South Gippsland overnight on Friday and showers were going to continue in the south of the state on Saturday, March 19.
SES warns that rainfall run-off into waterways in recent fire affected areas may contain debris such as soil, ash, trees and rocks. People in fire affected areas should also be alert to the potential for landslides and debris across roads.
Featured image credit: @BoomShakalakkaa (via Twitter)