Gale force winds lash Australia's east coast, trigger airport havoc

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-18 14:08:30|Editor: Song Lifang
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SYDNEY, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Wild winds have caused major delays at airports on the east coast of Australia on Friday, with conditions expected to worsen during the afternoon.

The gale force winds with gusts of over 100 kilometers per hour meant it has been too dangerous to fly.

At Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport, around 120 flights have been delayed or cancelled and further north at Brisbane Airport, local media have reported that at least 40 flights have also been affected.

"The winds are related to a trough that has passed over the southeast of Queensland State," Dianna Eadie from the Queensland Bureau of Meteorology told Xinhua on Friday.

"It's not uncommon or out of season, often when you get deeper troughs move off the coast, behind them you get a burst of strong westerly winds."

Unfortunately for travellers, the wild weather is forecast to continue throughout the day.

"There are strong winds still occurring and they are reaching their maximum intensity for the day right now," Eadie said.

"You generally get the windiest conditions in the afternoon, but they should dissipate as we get into the evening, however we are expecting another windy day tomorrow with similar conditions."

On the Central Coast of Australia and the southern suburbs of Sydney, 40,000 homes have been left without power, with energy supplier Ausgrid confirming over 400 incidents of hazard across the electricity network.

The State of New South Wales emergency services have also responded to at least 330 calls to for assistance, including an incident in the city of Wollongong (95 km south of Sydney) where 80 people had to be evacuated from a business after strong winds blew the roof of the building.

A similar situation has also occurred in the city of Sydney, when three windows shattered and fell five storeys from a high rise tower.

There were no reported injuries from either incident.