Photos: Giant hail and dust storms batter bushfire-weary Australia

Dust storms, hail and flash floods have battered beleaguered Australian cities in recent days, extreme weather that has diminished the threat from scores of wildfires that continue to blaze across the country’s southeast. The wet weather has brought a reprieve for many fire grounds along the east coast, but authorities remain on high alert, warning that the bushfire season still has weeks to run. Experts expect Australia to lose billions of dollars in tourism revenue as a result of the fires.

Updated On Jan 21, 2020 06:08 PM IST 8 Photos
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A child runs towards a dust storm in Mullengudgery in New South Wales, Australia. Thunderstorms and giant hail battered parts of Australia’s east coast on Monday after “apocalyptic” dust storms swept across drought-stricken areas, as extreme weather patterns collided in the bushfire fatigued country. (Courtesy of Marcia Macmillan / AFP)

A child runs towards a dust storm in Mullengudgery in New South Wales, Australia. Thunderstorms and giant hail battered parts of Australia’s east coast on Monday after “apocalyptic” dust storms swept across drought-stricken areas, as extreme weather patterns collided in the bushfire fatigued country. (Courtesy of Marcia Macmillan / AFP)

Updated on Jan 21, 2020 06:08 PM IST
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Rural Fire Service volunteer firefighters watch as the New South Wales “megafire” approaches the outskirts of the town of Tumbarumba. Australia has since October been overwhelmed by an unprecedented bushfire season made worse by climate change. Swathes of the country have burned, hundreds of millions of animals have died, more than 2,000 homes destroyed and at least 29 lives lost. (Greenpeace / AFP)

Rural Fire Service volunteer firefighters watch as the New South Wales “megafire” approaches the outskirts of the town of Tumbarumba. Australia has since October been overwhelmed by an unprecedented bushfire season made worse by climate change. Swathes of the country have burned, hundreds of millions of animals have died, more than 2,000 homes destroyed and at least 29 lives lost. (Greenpeace / AFP)

Updated on Jan 21, 2020 06:08 PM IST
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Hail covers vehicles in an intersection in Canberra. Violent hail storms pelted the capital Canberra on Monday, with footage showing the storm ripping branches off trees. Emergency services warned people there to “move cars undercover and away from trees and power lines”. The bureau of meteorology told people in New South Wales, including Sydney, to brace for the approaching storm. (Tom Swann / The Australia Institute via AP)

Hail covers vehicles in an intersection in Canberra. Violent hail storms pelted the capital Canberra on Monday, with footage showing the storm ripping branches off trees. Emergency services warned people there to “move cars undercover and away from trees and power lines”. The bureau of meteorology told people in New South Wales, including Sydney, to brace for the approaching storm. (Tom Swann / The Australia Institute via AP)

Updated on Jan 21, 2020 06:08 PM IST
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Storm clouds gather over Sydney Harbour. “Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging, locally destructive winds, large, possibly giant hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours,” the bureau said. (Peter Parks / AFP)

Storm clouds gather over Sydney Harbour. “Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging, locally destructive winds, large, possibly giant hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours,” the bureau said. (Peter Parks / AFP)

Updated on Jan 21, 2020 06:08 PM IST
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Dramatic images from western New South Wales show a massive wall of dust rolling through outback towns. Locals reported being cast into darkness in the middle of the day. “It was honestly like an apocalyptic movie, a huge wave coming towards us, really quite impressive, but I just wish it actually brought a good amount of rain, not dust,” Ashleigh Hull from the rural town of Dubbo told AFP. (Courtesy of Marcia Macmillan / AFP)

Dramatic images from western New South Wales show a massive wall of dust rolling through outback towns. Locals reported being cast into darkness in the middle of the day. “It was honestly like an apocalyptic movie, a huge wave coming towards us, really quite impressive, but I just wish it actually brought a good amount of rain, not dust,” Ashleigh Hull from the rural town of Dubbo told AFP. (Courtesy of Marcia Macmillan / AFP)

Updated on Jan 21, 2020 06:08 PM IST
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A Rural Fire Service volunteer firefighter taking a break from fighting fires. In Victoria, where bushfires continue to smoulder, heavy rainfall overnight was welcomed in fire grounds in the north, but authorities said it also brought with it new dangers. State Premier Daniel Andrews said the rain meant “much more dangerous conditions” for those operating heavy machinery to get into areas damaged by bushfires. (Greenpeace / AFP)

A Rural Fire Service volunteer firefighter taking a break from fighting fires. In Victoria, where bushfires continue to smoulder, heavy rainfall overnight was welcomed in fire grounds in the north, but authorities said it also brought with it new dangers. State Premier Daniel Andrews said the rain meant “much more dangerous conditions” for those operating heavy machinery to get into areas damaged by bushfires. (Greenpeace / AFP)

Updated on Jan 21, 2020 06:08 PM IST
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Storm clouds gather over Darling Point in Sydney. The wet weather has brought a reprieve for many fire grounds along the east coast, but authorities remain on high alert, warning that the bushfire season still has weeks to run. Experts expect Australia to lose billions of dollars in tourism revenue as a result of the fires. (Peter Parks / AFP)

Storm clouds gather over Darling Point in Sydney. The wet weather has brought a reprieve for many fire grounds along the east coast, but authorities remain on high alert, warning that the bushfire season still has weeks to run. Experts expect Australia to lose billions of dollars in tourism revenue as a result of the fires. (Peter Parks / AFP)

Updated on Jan 21, 2020 06:08 PM IST
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Golf ball sized hail after a hailstorm at Parliament House in Canberra. “This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest -- I would say the biggest -- challenge the tourism industry has had in living memory,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday. Australia’s conservative government has come under intense criticism for its response to the fires and climate change, which scientists say is a major contributing factor to the crisis. (Mick Tsikas / AAP Image via REUTERS)

Golf ball sized hail after a hailstorm at Parliament House in Canberra. “This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest -- I would say the biggest -- challenge the tourism industry has had in living memory,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday. Australia’s conservative government has come under intense criticism for its response to the fires and climate change, which scientists say is a major contributing factor to the crisis. (Mick Tsikas / AAP Image via REUTERS)

Updated on Jan 21, 2020 06:08 PM IST
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