Heavy dust storm hits Canberra, leaves thousands without power

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A severe dust storm caused by high northwestern wind engulfed the Australian capital Canberra on Sunday, March 18, 2018, leaving thousands of people without power.

Wind gusts up to 82 km/h (51 mph) brought powerlines down, uprooted trees and caused panic among the locals.

According to power company EvoEnergy, 1 100 homes lost power and outages took place in 18 suburbs in the region.

The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) encouraged people with respiratory illnesses worried about the dust to stay inside with their doors and windows shut and avoid strenuous activities.

Strong northwest winds are also fanning a bushfire in Namadgi National Park, which now covers a 10-hectare area (24.7 acres). The ESA said the fire danger was severe but it was not tracking towards homes or businesses.

Featured image: Heavy gust storm hits Canberra on March 18, 2018. Credit: Tim Grainger

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