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Huge dust storms engulfed neighbourhoods in drought-stricken Australia over the weekend, blacking out the sky.

Dramatic scenes were captured in drone footage showing the ominous dust storm so big it shaded the sun as it swept across New South Wales towns such as Dubbo and Orange.

In videos posted to social media, cars came to a stand-still and people dashed for shelter as the mountain-sized storm hit the east coast.

Ashleigh Hull, from the rural city of Dubbo, told AFP the storm looked like something from a horror movie.

She said: “We are used to the ritual and rush of bringing in washing, turning air cons off, closing windows and doors, before a big dust storm hits.”

The huge dust storm pictured as it approaches Mullengudgery in New South Wales
The huge dust storm pictured as it approaches Mullengudgery in New South Wales

“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.”

One person posted a picture of his paddock on Twitter , showing the area flooded a week before the dry land was covered in dust.

Meanwhile, Jen Browning took to social media to say the Bureau of Meteorology forecast rain for the weekend and said she was ‘sick of cleaning’ the dust from possessions. Photos show her standing in front of the giant dust cloud.

Less than 24 hours after the sand storm, the east coast has been pelted by giant hailstones the size of golf balls big enough to injure animals.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/19/australia/australia-hail-dust-storm-intl-hnk-scli/index.html

The state of Victoria, where bushfires ravaged the land and destroyed homes, livelihoods and natural habitats, also received heavy rainfall overnight – but fires are ‘far from over’, warn authorities.

Melbourne and Canberra were hit by the hail storms, with hundreds of emergency calls made as lumps of ice smashed car windshields and office windows.

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews said the heavy rain had proven ‘useful’ for the communities frazzled by bushfires. However, a “massive fire edge” of over 1.5 million hectares continues to burn after the fire flared up on New Years Eve.

Mr Andrews said: “Ultimately, we need to remain vigilant. It’s 20 January – the fire season is far from over.”



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