An Entire State in Australia Lost Power Following Most Powerful Storm in Decades - Atlas Obscura
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An Entire State in Australia Lost Power Following Most Powerful Storm in Decades

Over 21,000 lightning bolts struck the country in a 12-hour period.

(Photo: Australia Bureau of Meteorology)

A massive storm—possibly the biggest in over 50 years—swept through South Australia on Wednesday, with lightning striking the country over 21,000 times and knocking out power to 1.7 million.

The storm had been predicted, but on Wednesday many of authorities’ worst fears were confirmed. Wind gusts alone were reported at up to 75 miles per hour, though more impressive was the hail, which pelted some areas mercilessly. 

The storm was moving eastward later Wednesday,  into the Australian state of Victoria, where it was expected to weaken. Meanwhile, in some suburbs of the South Australia capital Adelaide, power was beginning to come back on, according to news.com.au

The state gets a majority of its power from sources in the east of the country, and, after an important connector failed Wednesday, South Australia didn’t have the resources to compensate, resulting in the entire region losing electricity, according to Reuters.

This means that after the deluge, expect some investigations. 

“Serious questions will be raised that need to be answered as to how this extreme weather event could take out the whole of the electricity supply across a major state such as South Australia,” one Australian official said, according to Reuters