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Australia

South-east Queensland Hit with Severe Storms After Scorching Christmas Day

More than 12,000 homes across south-east Queensland have lost power as the region is hit by severe thunderstorms after a scorching Christmas Day.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of south-east Queensland on Christmas evening, warning it could bring heavy rainfall and possible flash flooding.

All warnings were later cancelled, but parts of the region had already been hit by damaging winds and rain.

By 8:00pm, 13,587 homes in Brisbane City, the Gold Coast, Logan, Moreton Bay, the Scenic Rim and Redland City had been affected by power outages, Energex said.

Most of the outages started at 5:30pm as the storm hit, affecting houses in the Scenic Rim first then moving up to Brisbane City.

A severe thunderstorm warning was also cancelled for the Southern Downs, as storms moving north-east from the New South Wales border were expected to bring damaging winds to Warwick and Killarney.

Energex said crews were trying to restore power where it is safe to do so, and people have been warned to stay away from fallen powerlines.

“There have been a lot of positive words from the community tonight, thanking our crews for working through Christmas and we thank everyone for their patience,” an Energex spokesperson said.

A severe thunderstorm warning for damaging winds still stands for the Central Highlands and Coalfields, including Warwick, Kingaroy, Stanthorpe, Cherbourg, Taroom, Wondai, Murgon, Yarraman and Chinchilla.

A map of South-East Queensland showing thunderstorms moving northeast towards Brisbane.

An 89-kilometre-per-hour wind gust was observed at Roma on Monday afternoon, and an 87kph gust was observed at Beaudesert at about 6.00pm.

Already, 55 millimetres of rainfall has fallen at Pacific Pines in 30 minutes.

Upper Springbrook received 77 millimetres of rain in an hour, and the Numinbah Valley saw 44 millimetres of rain fall in 30 minutes.

A more general severe thunderstorm warning is also current for parts of the Central Highlands and Coalfields, Wide Bay and Burnett, Maranoa and Warrego, Darling Downs and Granite Belt and South-East Coast districts.

The storms come after a scorching summer day in the south east, with Brisbane, Ipswich, Gatton and Beaudesert reaching a top of 36 degrees Celsius.

The Gold Coast, Coolangatta and Warwick also reached 35C.

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