Wild storm lashes east coast of Australia, 3 people dead, more missing; vital services crippled

Three people were dead and more are said to be missing after massive storms flooded rivers, uprooted trees and tore into beaches along Australia’s east coast. In Tasmania, where major flood warnings have been issued for seven rivers, two elderly people are feared drowned. A man was reportedly swept into the Ouse River from his own backyard on Monday, while a woman was missing after floodwaters inundated her house in the state’s north-west. Rescuers are also searching for a man who was washed off rocks near Sydney’s Bondi Beach.
On Monday morning, a man’s body was found in the Cotter River near Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. Police said the 37-year-old was caught in floodwaters at a river crossing.
The storms battered the east coast of Australia and caused nationwide outages of online shopping websites and video streaming service and crippled vital services such as ATMs. The outages, which reportedly affected millions, began around 4 p.m. on Sunday and continued throughout the night, affecting many servers — from Brisbane to Canberra, Xinhua news agency reported.
Many customers of major banks Westpac, ME Bank and the Commonwealth Bank were left with temporarily useless bank cards. ATMs were also affected. Many services were still being reinstated on Monday morning, with frustrations spilling onto social media. Online food ordering services such as Domino`s Pizza and Menulog failed, while movie and TV streaming services Stan and Foxtel Play were also rendered useless.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) was ultimately blamed for the widespread outages. AWS is a cloud-based web hosting platform which streamlines cloud and computing functions for hundreds of Australian companies, some of which were still having their normal services restored on Monday morning.

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