Tornado rips roofs off homes as record winds lash Sydney

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Baku, December 16, AZERTAC 

A tornado has ripped through Sydney, with one weather station recording the fastest ever wind speeds in the state of New South Wales, according to BBC.

Destructive winds of 213km/h hit Kurnell, on the southern headland of Botany Bay, Wednesday morning.

Two people have been taken to hospital, one suffering head injuries and another suffering shock, a NSW Ambulance spokesperson told the BBC.

Authorities said it is lucky no-one was seriously injured, but at least 25 properties have been severely damaged, some declared uninhabitable.

"This is a hard blow for the Kurnell community, just one week before Christmas," NSW State Emergency Service (SES) spokesperson Phil Campbell said.

The SES has responded to more than 500 calls for help, and 11 flood rescues, including some people trapped inside their vehicles during flash flooding.

About 180 children were forced to evacuate their classrooms in Kurnell.

Meanwhile other suburbs including Bondi were also hit hard, with mobile phone footage showing shocked shoppers watching a roof collapse at a Westfield mall.

Sydney airport is still open, but the weather has caused delays, the AFP reports.

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