Severe storms cripple vital services in Australia


Canberra: Severe storms which battered the east coast of Australia 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.