South Australia battles second day of storms after blackout

Sydney, Australia—Power was slowly being restored to the state of South Australia on Thursday after “unprecedented” thunderstorms knocked out supply to the entire population. The blackout caused chaos and widespread damage was reported as authorities warned of more wild weather to come.
State premier Jay Weatherill described the conditions as “unprecedented” and “so extreme that cyclones in Queensland have caused less damage. “Twenty-three transmission towers have been ripped out of the ground by the force of this storm event,” he told Sky News. “We had 80,000 electricity strikes that hit various pieces of electricity infrastructure.” That led to “massive surges in the frequency in the system and what that did is destabilise the system to the point where… it shut itself down to protect the rest of the network.” South Australia—about one and a half times the size of France and with a population of 1.7 million—lost power Wednesday afternoon after severe thunderstorms struck with destructive wind gusts of up to 140 kilometres per hour (87 mph), torrential rain and large hailstones. Trees were torn down, roofs ripped out, thousands of homes and business were without power and cars were gridlocked on flooded roads as traffic lights failed.—APP

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