May 18, 2024

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Australia: Cattle farmer killed by flying debris

Australia: Cattle farmer killed by flying debris

Power was cut off to thousands of homes in a wide area of ​​eastern Australia, as severe weather conditions hit the region, while a rancher died when he was hit by flying debris carried by strong winds.

Emergency services said severe weather hit Victoria on Tuesday (02/13/2024), with heavy rain and winds of more than 150km/h.

A Benin rancher was killed by bad weather – with initial reports suggesting he was hit by flying debris while driving a tractor – east of Melbourne, authorities said during a news conference.

The winds also spread fires to low-lying vegetation in the Grabbians area west of Melbourne, burning an undetermined number of homes in the town.

At its peak, more than half a million homes and businesses were without power, according to the Australian Energy Market Director. About 285,000 people are still without electricity this morning.

The strong winds caused the roofs of buildings to be uprooted and uprooted trees and electricity poles, according to local media and photos circulated by Internet users.

Falling transmission towers have forced the closure of Victoria's largest coal-fired thermal power station, Loy Yang A. It has now been reconnected to the grid, the state regulator has confirmed.

Lily D'Ambrosio, the state's energy minister, said this was one of the “largest power outages in history” in Victoria.

In addition, lightning “caused fires” in the state, according to an emergency services official.

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The authorities now confirm that they are focusing their efforts on restoring electricity and assessing the extent of the damage caused by the fires. All alerts that were announced have now been lifted.