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Victoria storms: 544,000 lightning strikes and half a million homes without power

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A man has died after storms in Victoria left more than 500,000 homes and businesses without power yesterday.
victoria storms

A man has died after storms in Victoria left more than 500,000 homes and businesses without power yesterday.

Nearly 544,000 lightning strikes were recorded within a 600-kilometre radius of Melbourne.

Premier Jacinta Allan today confirmed a 50-year-old dairy farmer was killed in storm conditions in South Gippsland last night.

During a day of extreme weather, severe bushfires broke out in parts of the state’s west amid a catastrophic fire danger warning.

Power outages

The Victoria storms, strong winds, and lightning caused the collapse of multiple energy transmission towers and forced the shutdown of the Loy Yang A power station in the state’s southeast.

Up to 530,000 Victorian properties were left without power in what Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio called “one of the largest outage events in the state’s history”.

As of Wednesday afternoon, about 220,000 homes and businesses were still without power. Most of these are in the outskirts of Melbourne, or east and northeast Victoria.

Loy Yang A, Australia’s largest brown coal mine, accounts for 30% of Victoria’s power requirements.

It’s now returned to 25% of its operating capacity, but the energy regulator has warned it could take weeks for electricity to be restored to all homes and businesses.

Heavy rainfall, hail and wind gusts of over 100km/h also damaged mobile towers in the state.

Victorians have been urged to stay away from fallen powerlines and any other infrastructure damaged by the storms.

Bushfires

Severe storms came after fire crews in western Victoria spent the day battling high temperatures and strong winds.

Five firefighters suffered minor burns from a bushfire on the outskirts of the Grampians National Park.

As many as 30 homes may have been destroyed by fires, as authorities continue their assessments today.

As of Wednesday, residents near the Grampians were under emergency advice to leave amid the threat of an out of control bushfire.

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