Mini-tornado hits Oz town amid flood warnings
SYDNEY (AFP) – A “mini-tornado” hit Australia’s east coast Saturday, officials said, as they warned parts of Queensland state to prepare for flooding, with torrential rains lashing the state set to intensify.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said the storm had caused much damage near Bundaberg, about 300 kilometres north of Brisbane, and several people were reportedly injured.
“We’ve had… what appears to be a mini-tornado, there are reports of significant damage,” he told reporters.
“Unroofing of various buildings around that town, power lines down and potentially an incident where a tree has gone down on a motor vehicle with, I believe two occupants. We have declared a disaster in that area.”
Queensland has experienced days of extremely heavy rainfall in the wake of tropical cyclone Oswald, and Newman warned that the government had concerns about potential flooding in Bundaberg and further south in Maryborough.
In Gladstone, north of Bundaberg, there are fears that flood waters could impact hundreds of properties, with evacuations already taking place.
Newman said south east Queensland is expected to receive up to 300 millimetres of rainfall in the coming days as he warned that many beaches were closed due to high winds, high tides and dangerous surf conditions.