Wild Storms Hit Brisbane Airport
Small planes were blown around and roof panels were ripped off buildings after cyclonic winds tore through Brisbane Airport and the Port of Brisbane on Sunday.
On Monday morning, authorities were assessing the damage from the powerful “micro bursts”. It quickly accelerated what was already a powerful storm. Gusts at Brisbane Airport peaked at 157km/h, the strongest since 1985 and as powerful as a category 2 cyclone.
Three planes were damaged at Brisbane Airport as cyclone-strength gusts sent sets of stairs and a water tank flying across the tarmac. Dozens of flights were also delayed or diverted after the runway lights lost power, with 17,000 homes across the state’s south east also left without electricity.
A Qantas Link aircraft was left with a smashed window and several holes punctured in the side after a set of boarding stairs was blown into it. Another Qantas plane had part of the right-hand jet engine ripped open after another set of stairs barreled into the side of it.
Jetstar also suffered amid the storms as a water tank was sent flying, only coming to a stop after hitting one of the company’s aircraft.
A Brisbane Airport Corporation spokeswoman said that the storm was described as a “mini-cyclone”.
“This storm, or mini-cyclone as it’s been described, hit without warning and lasted about eight minutes. Some ground equipment flipped, stairs tipped over, stairs and things were pushed into aircraft. It could have been much worse. The airlines and airport staff did a great job keeping everyone safe,” the spokeswoman said.
Port of Brisbane officials were expected to meet on Monday to discuss the removal of about 100 shipping containers that were blown over during the storm.
Thousands of homes and businesses have been left without power following the storm that lashed Brisbane and reached the Sunshine Coast.
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