Thousands of people are requesting assistance as a result of the severe weather that has caused trees to fall across the Australian state of Victoria.
Trees have been toppled in south-east Australia, trapping people in cars and residences and cutting electricity to more than 200,000 homes as many prepare for flooding.
According to meteorologist Kevin Parkin, the exceptional weather system that impacted Victoria and its capital Melbourne delivered wind gusts of up to 74 mph and up to eight inches of rain.
As the wind and rain subsided, the risk of flooding from rising rivers grew. Around 220 properties in Traralgon, east of Melbourne, were asked to evacuate due to an overflowing stream.
Officials reported that such a strong wind and rain event had not hit Australia’s second most populous state since 2008.
Floodwaters, a landslide, and fallen trees had closed several important roadways. Power lines that had collapsed also posed a threat, with more than 200,000 houses in Victoria without power.
More than 5,000 calls for assistance were received, with 3,500 of them relating to trees falling on buildings and trapping individuals.
A woman in her 40s was transported to the hospital with head injuries when a tree fell on her house, according to police and the state ambulance service.
Officers walked a mile to a home in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne to speak with a woman who said a tree had fallen on her home, separating her from her little kid. The mother and son were able to be transferred to paramedics when emergency workers were able to clear a path.
On Thursday, New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, which borders Victoria on the north, was hit by a cold spell, with unusually heavy and widespread snowfalls knocking out power to hundreds of households.
Before warmer weather arrived on Friday, several sections of the state were expected to see near-record low temperatures for the month of June.