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12/22/2007

Gale forces hit NSW's west

Australia

Winds up to 120km/h have lashed parts of western NSW, leaving a trail of destruction with the State Emergency Service (SES) reporting many homes damaged in the mining city of Broken Hill.

The Bureau of Meteorology had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for west, south west, north west and Riverina regions and the winds hit about 4pm (AEDT).

"We've had some fairly significant demand out that way," SES spokesman Phil Campbell told AAP.

"A storm went through Broken Hill about 4pm, bringing 120km/h wind gusts.

"The SES has received 130 requests for assistance and that number is expected to rise overnight.

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