Three dead as storms lash Australia’s southeast

Melbourne: A fierce storm in Australia’s southeast killed three people, including a four-year-old boy and left emergency crews working to restore power and drinking water to thousands of homes Friday.

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High winds sent trees crashing into homes and crushing cars near Melbourne, state premier Daniel Andrews said Friday.

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A four-year-old was struck by a tree while reportedly walking with his father on Thursday night in the southeast of the city. The child was rushed to the hospital but later died from his injuries.

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“This will be just a terrible time for them and our hearts are with you,” Andrews said, offering condolences to the families of those killed in the storm.

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The cleanup is expected to take days, with emergency services reporting 2,000 calls for help, the majority concerning downed trees, Andrews added.

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A power outage hit a local water reservoir, causing health authorities to warn residents in some suburbs to boil tap water before drinking it.

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One resident in the hard-hit suburb of Belgrave told The Age newspaper that the storm hit with such a sudden intensity that tree falls sounded like explosions.

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“You couldn’t really tell where the trees were coming down, you just knew they were, everything was vibrating,” Josh O’Connell said.

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Melbourne remains under lockdown as authorities work to suppress a recent resurgence of coronavirus cases, recording 113 new cases on Friday and another 12 deaths from the disease.

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Australia has recorded over 25,400 virus cases in a population of 25 million, with 584 deaths.

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The Morning and Evening Brief

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