A four-year-old boy and two other – have been killed by falling trees during a wind storm that lashed the Australian state of Victoria. Gusts of up to 158km/h were recorded, causing widespread damage and knocking out power to 95,000 homes.
On Friday, residents in 88 Melbourne suburbs were also warned that the storm had contaminated drinking water. The storm caused untreated water from a dam to enter the city’s drinking water system, affecting up to 250,000 houses.
The four-year-old boy was crushed by a tree on a footpath in the suburb of Blackburn South and died in hospital, authorities said.
He had been walking with his father and toddler sister when the accident happened at about 18.00 local time. “They’ve just gone outside for a little walk – it was just for two minutes, they went outside and the tree just suddenly fell on him,” a bystander said.
The other victims were a 59-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman, both killed when trees struck their cars in the suburbs of Tecoma and Fernshaw respectively.
Melbourne has been in a strict COVID lockdown for almost two months after seeing Australia’s worst coronavirus outbreak. Almost 500 people have died in Victoria, currently, residents are allowed to leave home only for essential reasons and for one hour of exercise per day.