A massive overnight lightning storm with the highest 24-hour rainfall since September last year triggered fires across Melbourne. In one instance, a lightning strike sparked a fire that destroyed a house in Prahran in Melbourne’s south-east. Elsewhere a tree that was set alight in the storm fell onto the roof of a home. A family of five escaped from the property and nearby residents were evacuated from their homes as fire crews battled the blaze.
Firefighters also had to free several people trapped in cars in floodwater and the Melbourne Fire Brigade issued a warning to commuters to not drive through flood water.
The storm caused huge a power surge that caused chaos across Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria, with delays to rail services, gridlock on the roads and flight disruptions at Melbourne airport.
The neighbouring state of South Australia receiving about 80,000 lighting strikes in a 24-hour period, causing substantial power outages and grass fires.