Image Source: Flickr. By: Robin Hutton.

It may have seemed like the end of the world for residents of Perth, Australia, this week.

At least 160,000 people were left without power on Tuesday as golf ball-sized hailstones, floods and landslides attacked the town. Falling trees took out power lines and damaged homes, while flood waters ran into hospitals and schools. Some patients even had to be evacuated from one hospital’s emergency room after the roof collapsed.

Colin Barnett, premier of Western Australia, figured the damage bill to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He commented:

“I think from my memory this would be the most severe weather conditions we’ve had since the famous May storm in 1994, where we had very, very strong winds and a massive loss of power supply.” … “Hopefully the damage to the power supply won’t be as severe but I suspect this time we’ve got a lot more damage to buildings and housing.”

That’s not even the half of it. Winds gusted over 75 miles (120 km) per hour, cars were crushed by a landslip and at least one apartment was filled with mud. There were also smashed car windows (thanks to the hailstones), not to mention terrible traffic conditions when 150 traffic lights lost their power.

Australia’s east coast didn’t have any better weather this week. The Great Barrier Reef’s coastline was hit by a category 2 tornado. The twister destroyed boats and homes, and also ripped trees right out of the ground. More storms are expected to follow this crazy weather pattern; though how bad they’ll be remains to be seen.

By Heidi Marshall