Experts have warned wild winds that lashed much of the country’s southeast on Friday are “a taste of what’s to come” as storm season approaches.

Major clean up operations are underway after severe winds of up to 100 km/hr battered Victoria and New South Wales, resulting in hundreds of calls to emergency services and travel chaos with dozens of flights delayed or cancelled.

“Storm Season has definitely kicked off,” the New South Wales State Emergency Service wrote on Facebook, confirming they had received more than 200 calls for help in a 24-hour period.

Incredibly, the Victorian SES received over 800 calls between midnight and 1pm on Friday.

“Thank you for your patience if you have called for assistance,” they wrote on social media.

Emergency services warned people to be vigilant during stormy weather after a motorcyclist in East Victoria was killed by a falling tree on Friday morning.

As well as high winds, Friday’s wild weather saw torrential rain and several massive lightning storms.

Clean up crews worked around the clock in New South Wales and Victoria on Friday and Saturday to repair damage and remove trees that had smashed onto properties, powerlines and roads.

Some residents of southern New South Wales were hit with a double whammy when an earthquake struck just after midnight on Friday, just as the wild winds were subsiding.

A 3.5 magnitude quake hit near Douglas Park, about an hour southwest of Sydney, with several locals reporting being woken by the tremors on social media.

No damage is thought to have been caused by the quake.

There is some relief on the way, with Sky Weather reporting a “notably warmer” week across the country from Monday.

By Saturday, most of the wind which battered the southeast had moved out to sea, with marine wind warnings in place across the entire east coast and Tasmania, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

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