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21 Apr, 2015 06:37

3 killed, 200,000 homes without power as ‘worst in decade’ storm rages in Australia

3 killed, 200,000 homes without power as ‘worst in decade’ storm rages in Australia

A powerful storm hitting Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) coast has killed at least three people so far and left thousands without power.

The gusts of wind averaged 100km/h and some 30cm of rain fell in some areas, many times more than usual. The average yearly amount of precipitation in the region is 5.5cm.

Bondi Beach is like a washing machine...BIG waves/BIG winds #sydneystormpic.twitter.com/F6wY8PdoVr

— Brad Caldwell-Eyles (@bradceyles) April 21, 2015

People on the ground have taken to social media to post some of the damage from the storms, including sunken boats, floating houses and fallen trees.

"It looks very much like we have lost three residents," NSW Premier Mike Baird said.

A house has been swept away and a cruise ship remains stuck. #sydneystormhttp://t.co/W35oUtPpxGpic.twitter.com/q9j6DN6xoZ

— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) April 21, 2015

"They were elderly residents. At the moment, the circumstances are being worked through, but we do want their families to know our thoughts and prayers are with them," he added.

Two other individuals remain missing in the town of Dungog, north of Newcastle, where four houses were floating down the street. Evacuation procedures have been organized for the town.

Stay at home for your own safety- the message authorities giving Sydneysiders http://t.co/hcsNPeVR9U#sydneystormpic.twitter.com/AaLXCk0TPi

— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) April 20, 2015

Baird also said that 200,000 homes remain without power as of Tuesday, adding that the storm could get worse in the Hunter and Central Coast regions.

Three people dead in flash flooding in NSW town of Dungog #WorldNews#SydneyStormhttp://t.co/m9VMz9NT9qpic.twitter.com/4ecLwReas8

— Stuff.co.nz News (@NZStuff) April 21, 2015

The minister for police and emergency services David Elliott described the disaster as “once in a decade storm, the likes of which we haven’t seen since 2007.

“Today’s events are going to test our emergency services but they are there to be tested. We have seen, as the Premier said, 4,500 responses thus far,” he added.

3.15pm in Sydney & people have been told to go home early as the #SydneyStorm is getting worse http://t.co/VMOKZtFqWspic.twitter.com/np2y9wlDke

— Northampton Weather (@NNweather) April 21, 2015

Fifty people were rescued, Elliott confirmed.

A mate just sent me this from near his place. Cattai Ridge Rd. Crazy out there. #sydneystormpic.twitter.com/pzhhBXnCjt

— tracy grimshaw (@tracygrimshaw) April 21, 2015