Aerial imagery reveals Kurnell tornado damage

By on 7 January, 2016
Sydney Desalination Plant, before and after the 16 December storm, Kurnell, Sydney - 18 December 2015

Sydney Desalination Plant, before and after the 16 December storm. Kurnell, Sydney – 18 December 2015. Images: nearmap


On 16 December 2015, heavy storm warnings left Sydney residents shocked when they saw “Tornado warnings” on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website.  Due to the storm, the NSW State Emergency Services received 650 call outs, most of which came from the area from Kurnell and in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. Some 25 to 35 properties in Kurnell were particularly badly damaged in Kurnell, where live footage showed the tornado sending debris skyward.

In response to the tornado Sutherland Shire mayor Carmelo Pesce said “It’s like something out of a movie… it’s quite sad really.”

Five days after the incident, aerial mapping providers nearmap, released the exclusive aerial images below showing just how devastating and pervasive the storm’s impact was.

Kurnell was the suburb hardest hit by the storm, with hail stones the size of tennis balls and winds reaching over 200 km/h hitting the area. It’s expected to cost the town about $50 million in damages.

nearmap were able to capture and provide high resolution (7cm per pixel) and up-to-date aerial imagery and the exclusive photos which document before and after the December 17th storm. nearmap is continuosuly capturing detailed photos of cities and their outskirts across Australia to assess, in great detail, how landscapes change over time.

John Biviano, Australian Senior Vice President and Managing Director for nearmap, commented:

“At this time of year, it’s devastating to see the damage left behind to Kurnell following last week’s storms. Our aerial images highlight just how severe the storm was and just how much will need to be done to rebuild the community again. It’s something hard to envision without seeing detailed before and after images from high above.”



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