Wed. Oct 27th, 2021

Shoppers ran for cover as the ceiling collapsed inside the Westfield Mall on Mount Druitt as a rapid movement and unpredictable storm flew over Sydney’s west.

A cell phone video showed customers rushing out of the store as cobblestones flew in and water flowed in from above.

The mall was evacuated as NSW Fire and Rescue worked to assess the damage and stabilize the roof.

Awnings in the parking lot sank under the weight of giant hail while the support poles tensed.

A large awning awning lowers over two cars in a parking lot.
Awnings in the parking lot at the Westfield shopping at Mount Druitt collapsed under the weight of the hail.(ABC NEWS: Lydia Feng)

The collapse occurred after a heavy thunderstorm hit Sydney and NSW off the coast, bringing thunder, lightning, heavy rain and hail.

In half an hour, Penrith received 24 millimeters of rain.

A warning of a possible tornado was issued but canceled late this afternoon.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said very dangerous thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Horsley Park, Penrith and Newcastle.

The storms wreaked havoc on the roads, leaving some suburbs without power.

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Hail blocks are raining down in western Sydney

Jordan Notaro from the bill said that while an early tornado warning was issued for western Sydney, it appeared the system was weakened.

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“We have not necessarily had observations of a tornado on Earth,” he said.

“We have observed giant hail, and as it went on in the afternoon, the prediction is that we may see some more giant hail pushing across the Sydney Basin as we head out into the evening.”

Hail on the ground
Hail covers the ground at Cranebrook near Penrith.(Instagram: @ its.husin)
A hand holding hailstones
The warning from the bill included huge hailstones, very heavy rain and devastating winds. (Instagram: @ its.husin)

AUSGRID said power has been cut off to hundreds of homes and businesses in Georges Hall, Yagoona, Bankstown, Bass Hill, Condell Park and St Ives.

Hail on Mount Druitt
The storm hit hardest in the western and southwestern part of Sydney.(Delivered)

Endeavor Energy spokesman Peter Payne said there are around 5,900 powerless customers in the Sydney suburbs, including Mount Druitt, Minchinbury, Oxley Park, Toongabbie, Seven Hills, Prospect, Quakers Hill and Pendle Hills.

“Fortunately, the storm (brought) lots of intense rain and golf ball size hail in these regions, but not a lot of wind,” he said.

“So while we estimate a restoration time of around 9.30 tonight for most people, but hopefully the crews out there are patrolling now, and hopefully the damage is not as great as you might think and we can soon start restoring customers.”

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Rain clouds pass over the Sydney Harbor Bridge

Sir. Notaro from the bill warned that more serious storm activity could be seen tonight and tomorrow around Sydney and further north to Newcastle.

“As we head out into the evening, however, we remain on greater alert for potentially more severe storms, especially as we enter the evening to areas of Newcastle,” he said.

“The particular thunderstorm is certainly moving out to sea, but that certainly does not mean we are out of the woods.”

A purple bolt of light hits through stormy clouds next to the Sydney Habour Bridge.
The storm has left some suburbs without power.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Other severe thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Wollongong, Bulli, Upper Mangrove, Engadine, Lake Macquarie, Brooklyn and Kurrajong.

The bill reported 5 inches of hail near the Wyangala dam around noon. 15:15 and hail of 3 cm to 4 cm in the Blue Mountains, while 24 mm of rain was recorded in 30 minutes at Goulburn.

The BOM warned that large, possibly gigantic hailstones, damaging winds and heavy rainfall leading to floods were likely.

Rainbow after Sydney storm
A tornado warning was withdrawn after the rapid-motion system was weakened.(Delivered)

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