If you just arrived in Sydney and are expecting a bright sunny day, then you’re in for something phenomenal. A tornado warning was issued earlier this morning and has battered the southern part of Sydney at 10:30 AM local time. Find out more on this in the Australia tornado live update below.
The tornado warning was issued by the NSW Bureau of Meteorology at 8 AM Sydney time and a forecast of thunderstorms to follow were issued for certain areas in Sydney, the Hunter and Illawarra regions.
More “very dangerous thunderstorms” were coming at the Bureau’s 11:13 AM report. The said thunderstorms were set to hit near Sydney’s airport and Bondi beach.
The tornado hit Kurnell at 10:30 AM, local time, with two other storm cells battering Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury/Central Coast regions.
At 1 PM, the eastern suburbs of Sydney were battered by thunderstorms and the people from Westfield Bondi Junction had to be evacuated because of roof collapse.
AUSTRALIA TORNADO: INJURIES
There are no final number of injuries as of 1:57 AM PST. Sky News reported one shopper was hit in the head for minor injuries. Over 90 stores were forced to close due to the debris and the severity of the storm that already caused flooding and disturbance in malls.
AUSTRALIA TORNADO REPORT ON DAMAGES
Sydney airport was monitoring the entire tornado and thunderstorm incidents, and passengers were advised to check with their airlines about their flights.
Due to the destructive winds, some local and international flights were diverted to Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle and Brisbane. Qantas already had some delayed flights. Flight Q5416 from Melbourne to Sydney was diverted to Canberra. A flight from Cebu Pacific A330 also landed on Canberra from Manila at 1 PM, local time.
Kurnell Public School, along with over 7000 businesses, are left without power.
IS IT NORMAL TO HAVE TORNADOES IN SYDNEY?
According to a BOM spokesperson, “It is so very rare to get a tornado inside Sydney, much less a strong tornado.” The wind speed of the tornado was recorded at 213km/h, something unpredecented in an area like Sydney. This is the worst and fastest speed recorded in the history of NSW.
There was a record of a 153 miles per hour wind speed hitting Sydney on September 9, 1947. It was extraordinary by then. This new wind speed topples that record and Sydney braces itself for possible worse.
Roof caved in at Bondi junction – everyone sent into the rain… Not an ideal day to be wearing a white top pic.twitter.com/xePFCAf8x4
— RhaniaFarah (@RhaniaFarah) December 16, 2015
— BuzzFeed Australia (@BuzzFeedOz) December 16, 2015
— The Straits Times (@STcom) December 16, 2015
— The Australian (@australian) December 16, 2015
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) December 16, 2015
— smh.com.au (@smh) December 15, 2015
— Nick Moir (@nampix) December 16, 2015
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