Wild weather lashes vast stretch of Australia’s east coast

Wild weather is battering a 1,000km (621 miles) stretch of Australia’s east coast, bringing torrential rain and “abnormally high” tides to cities including Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

More than 2,000 homes in the cities were out of power on Monday after strong winds tampered with power lines.

Tides up to 8m (26 feet) high were recorded, eroding the shoreline in some areas.

Emergency services said they had had over 700 calls for help since Sunday.

About half a dozen people stranded in floodwaters had been rescued, they added.

Meteorologists have warned that this Australian summer will see the impacts of a La NiƱa weather pattern, which typically brings more rainfall and tropical cyclones.

The current wild weather has hit popular holiday spots such as the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast in Queensland, and Byron Bay in New South Wales (NSW).

Many beaches were closed on Monday amid the dangerous conditions.

The border between the two states recently re-opened following pandemic-related closures, and authorities have warned people travelling for end-of-year holidays to exercise caution.

On Monday, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (Bom) issued severe weather warnings for a vast coastal area stretching from Hervey Bay in Queensland to Taree in New South Wales.

Affected areas have been alerted to damaging winds, flash flooding and hazardous surf.

Local media reported that waves had washed away what was left of a popular beach in Byron Bay. It had already been depleted due to previous erosions. (Courtesy BBC)

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