Sydney regions declared 'disaster area' after storm

Parts of Sydney and surrounding areas have been declared natural disaster areas after suffering extensive damage in a wind storm.

Parts of Sydney and surrounding areas have been declared natural disaster areas after they were extensively damaged in a wind storm.

Services are now being restored after the storm swept a 300km stretch of coastline in and around Sydney on Monday.

Emergency crews dealt with 100 bushfires burning across New South Wales state after record temperatures on Monday.

State Emergency Services Minister Bob Debus says regions declared disaster areas would be eligible for emergency funds.

The Insurance Council of Australia estimates storm damage at $12m (about £4.5m ), but no official estimate is available.

The New South Wales State Emergency Service (SES) says emergency services will be working through the week to clean up damage.

Packing gusts of up to 110kmph, the storm whipped along the coast and areas north and south of Sydney.

"We knew it was coming, but we didn't expect it to hit with the ferocity it did," said Derek Archer, an SES spokesman. "I've been here seven years and it's the worst I've seen, the worst wind storm."

An ambulance services spokeswoman said about 15 calls were received, but no deaths or serious injuries were reported. Police declined to link the storm to the death of a nine-year-old boy who was crushed when fencing fell on him.

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