30 May 2011

Waterspouts filmed off Australia’s NSW coast

A series of powerful waterspouts have been captured on film off Australia’s New South Wales coast.

The swirling wind columns are said to have reached heights of nearly two thousand feet.

The waterspouts, which dissipated before they reached land, do not actually suck up water – what can be seen is water droplets formed by condensation.

“It looked pretty impressive,” one local resident told Australian broadcaster Channel Seven. “I wouldn’t have liked to have been in a boat out there.”

The natural wonders came as strong winds and heavy rain also lashed other parts of the state, causing flash flooding and traffic chaos in Sydney.

Several cars were submerged and the downpour caused road closures, local media reported.

A State Emergency Services official said five people were rescued after they were trapped by the flooding in Sydney’s metropolitan area.

The bureau of meteorology said the city had already received around 20 millimetres of rain by late on Monday.