Huge lightning storm illuminates sky over Melbourne as tens of thousands lose power

Video: Footage shows the awe-inspiring power of the storm

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The Independent Online

A huge lightning storm above Melbourne, Australia, caused tens of thousands to lose power and created travel chaos as commuters struggled to get to work.

The storm hit Melbourne at 2am last night, creating an awe-inspiring light display above Australia’s second most populated city. Many residents took to social media to tweet their pictures and reactions to the ferocious display, which some managed to capture on film.

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Footage captured of the display shows the awesome power of the lightning strikes as they ripple across the horizon.

Local newspaper The Age reported citizens were bowled over by the sound of the storm, with resident Samuel Saputra saying: “It sounded like a gigantic pistol or even a shotgun being fired and amplified to wake everyone up”.

Around 50,000 homes lost power, while local emergency services were dispatched after a lightning bolt set fire to a tree. The flames spread to nearby homes, causing $850,000 worth of damage.

Meanwhile, staff at Melbourne Airport were forced to perform rolling evacuations of the runway after the lightning came within eight miles of the tarmac.

Video courtesy of Newsflare