Heavy rains on Australia’s east coast could force thousands of people to flee their homes – emergency crews have warned Sydney’s five million residents to be vigilant and disrupt travel.
A man was found dead in his car after being swept away by floodwaters, police said Thursday – in just six weeks the area has been damaged by a third severe weather system.
Residents at a nursing home were evacuated after emergency workers warned the city’s five million residents to avoid unnecessary travel and to brace for possible relocations.
A severe weather warning was issued for more than 600 kilometers (373 miles) off the south coast of New South Wales as nearly a month of rain dumped in Sydney overnight on Thursday – causing rivers to burst their banks, leaving entire cities submerged and powerless.
Authorities said they expected the situation to ease from Thursday evening.
However, Sydney’s main water supply, the Warragamba Dam, could also erupt on Friday.
Daniel Austin, acting commissioner for emergency services in New South Wales, said in a media briefing: “This is a very dynamic situation. These events are happening at an exceptionally fast pace. “
“Extremely sharp, short rains” caused flash floods almost every hour, he added.
Many residents of Sydney’s western suburbs were instructed Removed again after being told to flee a few weeks ago The record follows the wettest march in the city.
More than 4,000 residents have been affected by the floods.
A suburban resident told ABC Television how the weather “rose again from somewhere”, describing the situation as “heartbreaking”.
Emergency crews and residents are now facing a huge task to clear tons of debris in the face of devastating weather.
Sydney has received 1,227 mm (48 inches) of rainfall so far this year, more than its annual average of 1,213 mm.
Meanwhile, the beach hotspot Bondi re-coded about 170 mm in a 24-hour period until 9 a.m. local time on Thursday, according to official data.
The east coast of Australia has been affected by La Nina weather events, usually associated with increased rainfall, running for a second year – most of the rivers have reached power before the last wet.