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Woman killed as tree crushes car in Blue Mountains amid wild weather

A woman has died and a man is seriously injured after a tree fell on their car in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, as gales cut power to 1,800 homes in Tasmania.

Authorities found the pair’s Volvo sedan crushed under the large tree on Victoria Street in Katoomba about 7pm on Thursday. The passenger, aged in her 40s, suffered fatal injuries and could not be revived.

The trapped driver, aged in his 20s, was freed and flown to Westmead hospital with head and chest injuries. He remains in hospital in a serious condition.

What caused the tree to fall remains unclear but a severe weather warning was in place for damaging winds.

A witness, Samantha Jones, said it had sounded “like a bomb going off”.

“It was the loudest explosion I’d ever heard,” she said. “I didn’t know what had happened. I thought seriously a bomb had been dropped.”

Severe weather warnings were issued on Wednesday for south-eastern Australia as polar winds and blizzards swept across parts of South Australia, Victoria and NSW.

Parts of Tasmania were bracing for a second surge of wild weather on Friday. A severe weather warning for damaging winds was in place for the state’s south-east, including Hobart, the west, the north and the Bass Strait islands.

It came after wild weather on Wednesday night cut power to homes, predominantly in the north and north-west. The worst-affected area was north of Launceston, where more than 500 properties were without power for most of Thursday. Low Head, on the north coast, had gusts of up to 95km/h, while winds at Hogan Island hit 135km/h.

Tasmania police received about 30 weather-related call-outs, and has warned drivers to watch out for fallen branches.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a minor flood warning for the Meander, Mersey, North Esk and Macquarie rivers. Abnormally high tides are predicted around Hobart.

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