Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tornado - Australia (NSW) OCT

AN area of the New South Wales north coast damaged by storms has been declared a natural disaster zone.

Large hailstones and destructive winds battered the towns of Dunoon, Lismore, Grafton, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby on Friday.

The NSW government has estimated that the storms caused about $1 million worth of damage and has declared the Lismore City Council area a natural disaster zone, triggering a range of financial assistance for individuals, businesses and councils.

The State Emergency Service (SES) logged more than 100 calls for assistance in the wake of the storm, which was the second wave of severe weather to hit the area during the past three weeks.

Crews have worked around the clock to remove fallen trees, cover damaged roofs with tarps and provide assistance to residents.

Dunoon, 10km north of Lismore, was hardest hit by the storm with a mini tornado tearing through the town.

It severely damaged 20 homes and buildings. The town was also left without electricity until yesterday afternoon.

Acting NSW Emergency Services Minister Verity Firth said emergency services had responded quickly to calls for help and put in a huge effort in the clean-up.

"In times of trouble, whether it be storms, floods, other natural disasters or accidents, the SES volunteers and members of other emergency services are always ready to help those in need," she said.

"Their hard work and commitment to protecting their community deserves the highest praise." - Source

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