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    5. Nine people killed in devastating storm in eastern Australia

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    Nine people killed in devastating storm in eastern Australia

    A fallen tree lies on a camping trailer near the Gold Coast in the Australian state of Queensland after Christmas storms. Photo: Dave Hunt/AAP

    At least nine people have died after storms over Christmas and Boxing Day hit Australia's east coast, including two women who were washed away in a storm drain, police said.

    < Thunderstorms and damaging winds have battered Victoria and Queensland in recent days, capsizing boats, causing flash floods and collapsing concrete power lines. The storms follow severe flooding in Far North Queensland in mid-December.

    The bodies of a 40-year-old woman and a 46-year-old woman were found in the Mary River in the Queensland city. Gympie. They were among three women thrown into a swollen river through a storm drain on Tuesday. Another 46-year-old woman managed to escape.

    The women were “exploring” a large storm drain, police said. By Wednesday, police divers had found the bodies of two women. The third was thrown onto the bank of a nearby river.

    The body of a nine-year-old girl was found on Tuesday in the Queensland capital Brisbane, hours after she disappeared into a flooded storm drain.

    p> Emergency services worker during a mid-flood rescue after heavy rain at the Buchan campground in east Gippsland, east of Melbourne in Victoria Photo: Victoria Police/AFP

    Also near Brisbane, three men died after A 39-foot yacht with 11 people on board capsized in rough weather in Moreton Bay.

    Ambulances transported eight survivors to hospital in a stable condition.

    A 59-year-old woman was killed when a tree fell on Queensland's Gold Coast, south of Brisbane, on Monday evening.

    Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll blamed the deaths on “extremely severe weather.”

    “It's been a very tragic 24 hours because of the weather,” Ms Carroll told reporters.

    Severe weather conditions have also disrupted services in some areas of Victoria.

    A car is damaged by fallen trees after a storm in Helensvale on the Gold Coast, Queensland, on Wednesday. Photo: JASON O'Brien/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

    A woman, who has not yet been identified, was found dead late on Tuesday after flash flooding cleared at a campground in Buchan in regional Victoria.

    Earlier on Tuesday, a 44-year-old man was killed by a falling branch on his rural property in Karingal in eastern Victoria.

    Thunderstorms and strong winds also brought down more than 1000 power lines in parts of Queensland and left tens of thousands of people without power.

    Utility company Energex said it is seeking to restore power to more than 80,000 homes in the state.

    “How bad were these storms? Enough to break several concrete poles supporting high-voltage lines,” he wrote on social networks.

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