Advertisement

Videos show fire-ravaged Australia hit with golf ball-sized hail, massive dust storm

Dust storm sweeps through drought-stricken Australia
WATCH: Dust storm sweeps through drought-stricken Australia

Australia is now dealing with dust storms, hail and flash floods as it continues to fight wildfires.

Extreme weather alerts over fire risks continued in the country’s southeast Monday, while a hailstorm hit the national capital of Canberra.

Severe storm brings golf ball-sized hail to parts of Australia
Severe storm brings golf ball-sized hail to parts of Australia

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

A man shows golf ball-sized hail outside Parliament House after a severe hailstorm hit Canberra, Australia, Jan. 20, 2020.
A man shows golf ball-sized hail outside Parliament House after a severe hailstorm hit Canberra, Australia, Jan. 20, 2020. Mick Tsikas/EPA
Damaged cars are seen parked outside Old Parliament House after a hailstorm hit Canberra, Australia, Jan. 20, 2020.
Damaged cars are seen parked outside Old Parliament House after a hailstorm hit Canberra, Australia, Jan. 20, 2020. Mick Tsikas/EPA
Damaged cars are seen parked outside Old Parliament House after a hailstorm hit Canberra, Australia, Jan. 20, 2020.
Damaged cars are seen parked outside Old Parliament House after a hailstorm hit Canberra, Australia, Jan. 20, 2020. Mick Tsikas/EPA

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.

Story continues below advertisement
Smoke haze from the East Gippsland bushfires has drifted across Victoria, reaching Melbourne.
Smoke haze from the East Gippsland bushfires has drifted across Victoria, reaching Melbourne. James Ross/EPA

READ MORE: Australia hit with flash flooding, dust storms as wildfires rage

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.

In this Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, photo, a dust cloud billows over a street in Dubbo, Australia, 400 kilometres west of Sydney.
In this Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, photo, a dust cloud billows over a street in Dubbo, Australia, 400 kilometres west of Sydney. Ian Harris via AP

Story continues below advertisement

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.

This photo, taken on Jan. 16, 2020, shows a burnt-out part of local farmer Rick Morris’ 2,300-acre property on Kangaroo Island after bushfires ravaged the island off of the south coast of Australia.
This photo, taken on Jan. 16, 2020, shows a burnt-out part of local farmer Rick Morris’ 2,300-acre property on Kangaroo Island after bushfires ravaged the island off of the south coast of Australia. Peter Parks/Getty Images
A photo taken on Jan. 18, 2020 shows a bushfire area about a one-hour drive from Canberra, Australia.
A photo taken on Jan. 18, 2020 shows a bushfire area about a one-hour drive from Canberra, Australia. Chu Chen/Xinhua via Getty

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.

Story continues below advertisement

Authorities have warned the fire danger may escalate this week with rising temperatures and drier conditions.

— With files from Reuters and the Associated Press