Australia: Thousands Evacuated As Floods Get Worse

Some 18,000 people are evacuated from severe floods across New South Wales (NSW) in Australia, with more heavy rainfall predicted.

The state’s entire coast is now under a severe weather warning.

Days of torrential downpours have caused rivers and dams to overflow around Sydney – the capital – and in south-east Queensland.

The military is being deployed to assist with search and rescue, in what has been called a “one-in-50-years event”.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has forecast “increased rainfall, strong winds, damaging surf, and abnormally high tides” in New South Wales on Tuesday.

It also said that some 10 million people across every state and territory except Western Australia were now under a weather warning.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said no deaths had been reported by late Monday – describing it as “a miracle given what we’ve been through”.

But there has been widespread damage within the affected areas, which are home to a third of Australia’s 25 million people.

Ms. Berejiklian said many of the communities “being battered by the floods” had been affected by bushfires and drought the previous summer.

“I do not know any time in state history where we’ve had these extreme weathers in such quick succession within the middle of an epidemic,” she said.

PM Scott Morrison has offered funds for those forced to evacuate. He told parliament there was “serious risk still ahead”.

Swollen rivers stop roads and bridges and made about 150 schools shut on Monday.

People in almost 15  low-lying areas in NSW are ordered to evacuate and a similar number are warned that they’ll still need to leave their homes.

Areas north and west of Sydney, the NSW Central Coast, and therefore the Hawkesbury valley are of particular concern.

There are some 15,000 evacuations from the Mid-North Coast and an extra 3,000 in Sydney, officials said.

The Australian defense will provide search and rescue helicopters on Tuesday, after an invitation from the NSW government.

PM Morrison told MPs: “Across NSW, 1,400 first responders have conducted over 700 flood rescues and skilled over 7,500 requests for assistance.”

He added: “This is an ongoing situation that’s evolving and is extremely dangerous.”

One stranded family was lifted from their flooded home by a helicopter. Responders also saved a family with a baby from flooding in their range in Sydney’s west.

There are images of dead wildlife, livestock floating through flooded areas and rows of homes engulfed up to their windows.

Recent Forecast

Conditions in many areas of New South Wales are expected to worsen, with officials warning that two weather systems could collide, creating a “last blast” of rain and storms going into Wednesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology said heavy rainfall would affect the entire NSW coast and several other inland areas on Tuesday, bringing a “serious risk” of flash flooding.

“Most areas of latest South Wales will see a clearing trend early Wednesday as a drier airmass moves into the region,” it said.

Bureau of Meteorology, Australia, tweeted ”Around 10 million Australians in every mainland state and territory- except WA- are currently under a #weather warning as two major systems collide. Warnings for heavy rain, damaging winds, and heavy surf cover a size area similar to Alaska.

Related:

Australia Warned Of ‘Life Threatening’ Flash Floods

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