A power outage has forced a lockdown on the northern suburbs of Melbourne, as residents were forced to power off their cars, in what has been described as one of the largest power outruns in Australia.
The emergency is being closely monitored by the state’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and the National Grid, as it comes as part of a large network overhaul in Melbourne.
In a statement on its website, the EMA said a number of emergency services were mobilised for the lockdown, including firefighters, paramedics, emergency services staff and the Emergency Service of Northern Territory (ESNT) and Northern Territory Emergency Management (NTEM).
Emergency services in the affected areas were “well trained to respond to emergencies and are actively involved in coordinating the response”.
A number of people were also evacuated from the north of Melbourne and have since been taken to hospital, with some suffering severe head injuries, according to the EMO.
The statement said the emergency was being closely supervised by the EEMA and the NTEM.
The EMA also said emergency services in Darwin were in place and on standby.
Residents are also told to evacuate if they can’t find power in their homes.
The lockdown began on Monday morning at 7am local time (2100 GMT), with the lockdown being lifted at 6pm on Tuesday morning.
On Wednesday morning, the lockdown was lifted, with residents returning to their homes, but the NT and ESNT warned of “potentially hazardous conditions” in the north.
Residents were told to return to their neighbourhoods in their areas, but to avoid any unnecessary movements.
A number were told not to go outside without their own power, as they may not be able to access it.
Many residents said they had lost access to their mobile phone and internet connections due to the power outbreak.
“I have no internet connection and I can’t access my email because of the blackout,” said Sydney resident Sarah MacLeod.
“It’s frustrating that we’ve had a blackout, and it’s not like the power has come back,” said another Sydney resident, Paul White.
“We’ve had no power at all.
The lockdown is being carried out in the face of severe weather conditions, including heavy rain and hail, as well as a series of high winds and flooding.
The heavy rainfall and strong winds are expected to continue for several days, with the weather causing power outflows to occur.
A further 20,000 homes were without power across the Northern Territory, with at least 17,000 people in that area reported as having power cut, according the NT Government.
Residents in Darwin and some parts of the NT have also been warned to prepare for power cuts.