Tornado destruction in Australia

Last updated 10:27 22/03/2013
Fairfax Australia

Many injured as a mini-tornado rips roofs off homes in Victoria, Australia.

Tornado, Victoria
DAVID JONES/Twitter
TWISTER: A picture taken at Mulwala, Victoria. Photo: David Jones/Twitter

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Mini-tornados tear through Victoria

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Residents in Victoria, Australia, are recovering after a tornado, sparked by severe storms and flash flooding, swept through the region.

Paramedics treated 20 people after dozens of calls in Yarrawonga and Mulwala, when the storms and tornado came through about 8pm on Thursday (local time). Paramedics said there were as many as 80 ''walking wounded'' in the affected areas.

A couple in their 70s were flown to hospital in Melbourne after they were injured when their motorhome was overturned in the wind. Two men in their 50s were flown to hospital, both in a critical condition with head injuries.

As dawn broke on Friday, crews and residents were assessing the damage, with paramedics and State Emergency Service teams working in the dark to avoid trees.

SES spokesman Lachlan Quick said the towns of Bundalong, Yarrawonga, Koonoomoo and Rutherglen had been among the worst hit, with several buildings damaged and fallen trees.

In the town of Barooga, the roof of the post office was blown off, the Border-Mail reported.

Storm damage also briefly forced the closure of the Hume Freeway near Benalla.

Several people were hit by flying debris, Ambulance Victoria emergency management manger Jon Byrne said.

He urged people who did not need to be in storm-affected areas to stay away so emergency services could mop up.

Rainfall has also been extensive across parts of the region. At Mount Buffalo, 117 millimetres has been recorded between 9am Thursday and 7am Friday, with 86 millimetres at Harrietville and 61 millimetres at Falls Creek, according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.

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