August 16, 2022

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Tens of thousands of Sydney residents have asked to be evacuated as rain falls in its suburbs

Tens of thousands of Sydney residents have asked to be evacuated as rain falls in its suburbs

Emergency crew rescues two ponies from a flooded area in Melpera, Sydney metropolitan area, Australia July 3, 2022 in this screenshot obtained from a video post. Bulletin/Emergency Service NSW via Reuters

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  • Third major flood this year for some suburbs of Sydney
  • 30,000 NSW residents face evictions
  • The crew of the ship is being rescued and the army is helping the stranded families

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Sydney residents were issued fresh evacuation orders on Monday after torrential rains caused flooding for the third time this year in some low-lying suburbs.

An intense low pressure system off Australia’s east coast is expected to bring heavy rains through Monday across New South Wales after several places in the state were hit by about a month over the weekend.

Since Sunday, about 30,000 residents in the state of New South Wales have been asked to either evacuate or be warned that they may receive eviction orders.

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Frustration has deepened in several suburbs in the west of Australia’s largest city after floods inundated homes, farms and bridges.

“It’s just devastating. We’re in disbelief,” said Theresa Fedeli, Mayor of Camden.

“Most of them have just come out of the last flood, put their homes back in, and their businesses are back where they should be, and unfortunately we say it’s happening again.”

More than 200 mm of rain fell on many areas, some of which reached 350 mm, since Saturday. Read more

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The Met Office warned that some areas could approach or exceed flood levels seen in March 2021 and in March and April this year. It added that risks of major flooding remained, although the severe weather regime could weaken later on Monday.

Local media reported that an operation was underway to rescue 21 crew members from a cargo ship that had lost capacity south of Sydney and was threatening to drift ashore.

“It has been a very difficult time for several months to have this flood event apart from others. It makes it even more difficult,” New South Wales Premier Dominic Beirut said during a televised media briefing.

Paul O’Neill, a resident of the flood-hit Wisemans Ferry, said he was transporting food supplies by boat to his stranded family after rising waters cut access.

“The road has collapsed and has not been repaired since the last floods and has not been touched. So they now block our road and then the ferry, the only way back home now is by boat,” O’Neill told Reuters. .

Australia ‘not ready’

Videos posted on social media showed gas stations, homes, cars and street signs partially under water while garbage bins floated on the flooded roads. Military vehicles were seen driving towards the flooded streets to evacuate stranded families.

The Met Office said about 100 millimeters (4 inches) of rain could fall over the next 24 hours over an area of ​​more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) along the NSW coast from Newcastle to southern Sydney.

The weather could cause flooding and landslides, as river catchments are already nearing full capacity after the La Nina phenomenon, usually associated with increased precipitation, that hit the east coast of Australia in the past two years.

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Climate change is widely believed to be a contributing factor to frequent extreme weather events, the Climate Council said, adding that Australia was “unprepared”.

Federal Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt said climate change must be taken “seriously” due to the frequent occurrence of floods.

“The reality is that we live in a changing climate,” Watt told ABC Television.

The operator, Equatorial Launch Australia, said bad weather was delayed by 24 hours on Monday scheduled for a NASA rocket launch from Arnhem Space Center in northern Australia.

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(Reporting by Ringo Jose and Gil Gralow) Editing by Sam Holmes, Lincoln Fest and Edwina Gibbs

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.