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Storm Havoc in Australia: Christmas Thunderstorms Claim 10 Lives Amid Severe Weather Chaos

Published December 27, 2023
7 months ago

The Christmas season turned bleak in eastern Australia as severe thunderstorms unleashed their fury, claiming at least 10 lives and leaving a trail of devastation in their wake. As the nation celebrated the festivities, Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland faced the wrath of Mother Nature with violent weather disrupting the joyous occasion.

In a tragic turn of events, three men perished when their yacht capsized near Green Island in Moreton Bay, Queensland, overwhelmed by the storm’s ferocity. The Queensland police commissioner Katarina Carrol conveyed the somber news as rescue efforts unfolded amidst the tempest.

The storms also claimed the lives of two women near Gympie, as swollen stormwater drains showed no mercy. Tragedy further struck Brisbane where a young nine-year-old lost her life in similar treacherous waters, adding to the rising toll.

Flood warnings painted a grim picture, cautioning holidaymakers as campgrounds, which are typically bustling with cheer around this time, faced imminent threat from the rapidly swelling rivers and streams. This presage materialized with the discovery of a woman's body in a Victorian campground, claimed by the flood after it receded.

Widespread power outages compounded the misery, with more than 90,000 households plunged into darkness. Queensland Premier Steven Miles spoke of the magnitude of the crisis, indicating the potential of damages scaling into billions, especially as the region was still reeling from the earlier impacts of Cyclone Jasper.

Though forecasts suggested an easing of the tumultuous conditions, the Bureau of Meteorology kept the population on alert for potential severe thunderstorms that could still scourge the already battered east coast.

This succession of catastrophic events serves as a stark reminder of the escalating climate crisis outlined by Simon Bradshaw from the Climate Council. Australia's stark contrasts were further highlighted as the nation grapples with both overwhelming rains in the east and insidious fires in the west, where a bushfire claimed the life of a volunteer firefighter.

El Nino's influence looms over Australia's summer, predicting a season of extremes. As the nation seeks solace and recovery, the reality is unequivocal: climate consequences are unfolding with increasing intensity, demanding attention and action on a global scale.

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