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Adverse weather hits Aussie state with bushfires, storms, heavy rain

Sydney, Feb 14 (IANS) The Australian state of Queensland is having a day of extreme weather conditions, with bushfires, severe thunderstorms and heavy rain raging.

According to the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) on Tuesday, there are multiple fires in the state’s Western Downs region, where agriculture is a major industry, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Residents in the areas where the fire poses a threat to lives have been instructed to evacuate their homes this morning.

QFES said that a large, fast-moving fire is travelling from Nudley State Forest to Moran Creek Road.

Firefighters are working to contain the blaze, and residents are urged to enact their bushfire survival plan simultaneously and stay hydrated as conditions could worsen quickly.

Authorities also issued a “leave immediately” emergency warning for local people in Kowguran, Myall Park and Hookswood, near Miles as the fire “may pose a threat to lives and it will soon be too dangerous to drive.”

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has warned of possible severe thunderstorms for parts of south-east and north Queensland on Tuesday, saying that heavy to locally intense rain is the main risk, while damaging wind and large hail are possible.

A hazardous surf warning has also been issued for south-eastern Queensland and the north-eastern New South Wales, due to easterly swells from ex-Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle which has moved into New Zealand.

“We’re seeing several different types of weather hazards across Queensland,” BOM’s senior meteorologist Laura Boekel told local media.

“We could see in excess of 50mm in Brisbane, however, some very isolated totals of up to 100mm in some areas in the south-east,” Boekel said.

The BOM said on Monday that the tropical low and a developing monsoon would continue to bring widespread showers, thunderstorms, and rain to much of the tropical north in the next few days.

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