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A supercell storm hit Sydney on Wednesday, December 16, with the Bureau of Meteorology issuing warnings for tornadoes and winds of 200 kilometres per hour. Large hailstones, heavy rainfall and flash flooding was also likely, according to the Bureau.

Rare tornado rips through famed city; impacts Star Wars


Leeanna McLean
Digital Reporter

Thursday, December 17, 2015, 10:00 AM - Severe storms and a tornado ravaged southern Sydney, New South Wales on Wednesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of New South Wales as damaging winds, torrential rains and large hail left a trail of destruction. A tornado ripped through the community of Kurnell around 10:30 a.m.

Wind gusts topped 200 km/h in the south Sydney suburb. It was the state's highest ever recorded on their equipment, according to the bureau.

The storm knocked trees down, roofs were torn off and debris littered the streets. More than 20,000 homes were left without power.

Rainfall of 144 mm was recorded in one hour in Long Island Point, just south of Nowra. Meanwhile, golf ball-sized hail fell in many parts.

Flights out of Sydney Airport were delayed, while incoming flights were diverted to airports elsewhere in Australia. Photos on social media show passengers caught in gridlock abandoning their vehicles, opting to walk with their luggage instead.

Another series of storms struck Sydney and surrounding suburbs around 1:30 p.m., causing flash flooding and damage to buildings.

A woman was taken to a nearby hospital with head and elbow injuries after a section of the shopping centre Bondi Junction Westfield's roof collapsed.

Star Wars fans were disappointed as Bondi's Event Cinemas had no choice but to cancel the midnight screening of the widely anticipated Star Wars The Force Awakens.

NSW State Emergency Service volunteers made about 15 flood rescues Wednesday afternoon, according to local reports, with many residents trapped in their vehicles.

#Bondi #sydneystorm #weather #australia #storm #2dayfm

A video posted by reaper (@reaperboerboel) on

Fortunately, the system passed late Wednesday afternoon. Just before 4 p.m. local time, all severe thunderstorm warnings in Sydney were dropped.

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