Giant waves, cyclone-strength winds and torrential rain swept three people to their deaths on Australia’s east coast on Monday after the storm forced hundreds to flee their homes. Waves up to five meters (17.5 feet) were pounding much of the east coast, including Sydney, with the Bureau of Meteorology warning of further danger as the storm moves south. Two bodies were found in cars washed away in flood waters while a man was swept off the rocks south of Sydney’s surfing beach of Bondi, police said. The New South Wales state emergency services said they had received more than 9,250 calls and had conducted 280 flood rescues. Insurers received more than 11,150 claims with estimated insured losses of A$38 million, the Insurance Council of Australia said. It expects the number of claims to rise further over the coming days. Stocks in Australia biggest insurers, including QBE Insurance, Insurance Australia Group and Suncorp, skidded in a stronger wider market. But CLSA analyst Jan Van Der Schalk did not see a major earnings impact on insurers who said they were still assessing the impact of the catastrophe. Australian websites including Channel Nine, Foxtel Play and Domino’s Pizza went down on Sunday when… Read full this story
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