Disasters & Accidents

Strong storm kills 3 people, contaminates South Australia water supply

Sydney, Australia, Aug 28 (efe-epa).- Fierce storms that lashed Victoria state in southern Australia late Thursday claimed the lives of three people, left more than 50,000 homes without power and contaminated the water being supplied to 88 neighborhoods in the city of Melbourne, authorities announced Friday.

The deaths were caused by falling trees amid wind gusts of more than 124 kilometers per hour (77 miles per hour) in Melbourne, which is under lockdown due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, and in southern Victoria.

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews offered his condolences to the families of the people killed, including a four-year-old boy, during a press conference in Melbourne on Friday.

A young man driving during the storm also sustained minor injuries after a tree fell on his vehicle killing his co-passenger, and is receiving treatment at a hospital, Andrews added.

Andrews said that the strong storm caused power outages in more than 56,000 homes in Melbourne and Victoria, the second most populated state in the country, and also led contaminated water to enter the water supply system that supplies to 250,000 homes.

Government-owned utility company Yarra Valley issued a warning asking households in 88 neighborhoods of Melbourne to boil water before drinking it.

“We’ve become aware of a potential water quality issue affecting 88 suburbs due to electrical damage caused by storms overnight. Some water may have entered our drinking water supply network that had not been treated to the usual standard,” the company said on its Twitter account.

“As a precautionary measure, we’re advising residents bring water to a rolling boil before drinking, washing and preparing food, preparing baby formula, brushing teeth and making ice until further notice,” it added.

On the other hand, the Victorian government issued a series of guidelines to allow restricted movement, amid the confinement measures, to allow people to purchase material to repair homes damaged by storms.

The government of Victoria, which reported 113 COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths on Friday, has imposed a strict lockdown in the city of Melbourne, including a night-time curfew, until mid-September, while the rest of its territory is under a moderate lockdown. EFE-EPA


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