Extreme weather alerts over fire risks continued in the country’s southeast Monday, while a hailstorm hit the national capital of Canberra.
Photos from the storm show golf ball-sized hail puncturing car windows. Videos from outside the country’s Parliament show tree branches dropping as hail falls to the ground.
Another video from Canberra, posted to social media, shows strong gusts of wind moving around patio furniture.
Emergency services officials said some public buildings and homes were also damaged. Several areas lost power, and the hail also knocked down trees.
The storm triggered flash flooding, which injured two people, officials said.
Hail also struck Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, on Sunday, and more hailstorms were forecast to return. The city has also been choked by smoke from distant wildfires in Victoria state in recent weeks.
Drought-ravaged parts of rural Australia were hit by dust storms that threaten to drift over more heavily populated cities, including Sydney.
A 300-kilometre-wide cloud of red dust was carried by wind gusts up to 107 kilometres per hour. The vast clouds of dust smothered inland towns such as Dubbo in the country’s most populous state, New South Wales.
Unusually intense storms over the weekend caused flash flooding in the cities of Brisbane and Gold Coast in Queensland state, where most of the wildfire destruction has occurred.
Meanwhile, wildfires continue to wreak havoc on parts of the country. Widespread recent rainfall in New South Wales and Victoria has helped but has not extinguished major fires.
The fires have claimed at least 28 lives since September, destroyed more than 2,600 homes and razed more than 10.4 million hectares. The area burned is larger than the U.S. state of Indiana.
Authorities have warned the fire danger may escalate this week with rising temperatures and drier conditions.
— With files from Reuters and the Associated Press