A major clear-up is now under way amid estimates that the total bill for damage to buildings and cars during the worst storm to hit the Queensland capital for more than 30 years could top $200m (£108m).

Huge hailstones smashed through windows and dented cars, and winds of up 140km/h (85mph) lifted roofs while a month’s rainfall bucketed down in just half-an-hour.

According to the Brisbane Times, the Insurance Council of Australia reported that 28,814 motor vehicle claims and 10,863 home and contents claims had been submitted by 10am on Monday.

But many businesses are feared to be facing ruin as their insurance policies do not cover them for hail damage – with car dealerships among the worst affected.

More than 108,000 properties were plunged into darkness as the supercell system of cyclonic winds tore down more than 600 powerlines during its destructive journey across south-east Queensland on Thursday. Engineers worked around the clock to restore power in Brisbane by this morning.

The storm is just the latest extreme weather event to affect Queensland following the heatwave which has baked the country in recent weeks.

Australia has just completed its hottest spring and its second hottest November since records began in 1910, with the heatwaves in Australia and New South Wales a major contributor. The town of Longreach, in Queensland, hit temperatures of more than 40C on 13 consecutive days in November.

Australia had its hottest-ever summer last year, and the record could be under threat again.

Karl Braganza, manager of climate monitoring at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, told the BBC: “Australia has been warming up by about 0.9C (a year) since 1910.”