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Cold weather, strong winds hit Aussie state

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2021-08-24 14:36:40Xinhua Editor : Zhang Mingxin ECNS App Download

Rain, snow and gale-force winds have broken a bout of unseasonably warm temperatures in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW).

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a severe weather warning on Tuesday afternoon as winds averaging up to 70km/h hit the coastal fringe of the state's capital city Sydney.

The BOM has advised residents to move vehicles away from trees, secure loose items, and keep at least 8 meters away from powerlines in case they fall.

By Tuesday afternoon, the sudden cold front has brought up to 40 mm of rain across NSW's east and central coast, snow to the Blue Mountains and single-digit temperatures breaking a record string of warm winter days.

BOM meteorologist Melody Sturm told local media the Sydney Morning Herald that residents should brace for more weather.

"There's potential for a month's rainfall in one day," Sturm said. "It's safer indoors right now than outdoors... and not just for the virus."

Orange, a rural city about 255 km west of Sydney, was one of the state's worst-hit areas on Monday evening with roofs torn off, buildings extensively damaged, and a car being crushed by what locals described as a "small tornado."

As of Tuesday, NSW State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers have responded to more than 200 calls for help from the public.

The SES workers spent Tuesday continuing their clean-up efforts and additional volunteers, including flood rescue operators, and were on standby in the areas expected to be impacted by more severe weather.

The winds are expected to gradually ease from Wednesday morning.

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