Southeastern Australia hit by severe storm

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A deep low pressure centre brought damaging winds and torrential rain to many parts of southeastern Australia on Thursday night and through Friday.

Winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour (km/h) were reported near Melbourne, but it was on the island of Tasmania where the worst of the storm was felt.

Hobart, the state capital, recorded 129mm of rain, nearly three times the May monthly average. The rain caused flooding through the centre of the city and more than 13,000 people were left without power.

In downtown Hobart, police reported that major roads were affected by floodwater, and traffic lights were not operating.

It was the largest rainfall total the city has ever recorded in May, and the highest total for any month since 1960.

The State Emergency Service reported that flash flooding has also occurred in Blackmans Bay, Kingston and Sandy Bay.

On Mount Wellington in the southeast of the island the rainfall was even higher at 233mm and a gust of 131km/h was recorded.

As the low pressure centre moves into the Tasman Sea, winds are blowing from a southerly direction, bringing cold air from the Antarctic region. Snow has fallen in parts of southeastern Australia and accumulations of up to 40cm are possible over the Blue Mountains to the west of Sydney.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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