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Scores Told to Evacuate From ‘Devastating’ Sydney Floods
By Staff, Agencies
Australia’s emergency services issued new evacuation orders for tens of thousands of people in the country’s largest city, Sydney.
The order on Monday came as the Bureau of Meteorology warned that an intense low-pressure system off Australia’s east coast would bring heavy rains for a third day across Sydney and its surrounds in the east coast state of New South Wales [NSW].
“We currently, across New South Wales, have 64 evacuation warnings in place and 71 evacuation orders,” Dominic Perrottet, the NSW premier, said at a news conference. “That is impacting 32,000 people across New South Wales.”
He asked residents to avoid any non-essential travel, including on public transport, with some roads already underwater and others at risk of sudden flash flooding.
“Over the last few days, there has been 116 flood rescues. Since 9pm last night, we have had 83 flood rescues as well as 1593 requests for assistance,” Perrottet added.
No deaths have been reported so far.
In Sydney’s western suburbs, which residents say have already experienced four flooding events this year, frustration was swelling.
“It’s just devastating. We are in disbelief,” said Therese Fedeli, the mayor of Camden, where mud-brown river waters had transformed a large stretch of land into a lake.
“Most of them have just come out of the last flood, getting their homes back in place, their businesses back in place and unfortunately we are saying it is happening again.”
The Bureau of Meteorology said about 100 millimeters of rain could fall in the next 24 hours over a swath of more than 300km along the NSW coast from Newcastle to the south of Sydney.
“We are expecting the rain to pick up again from this afternoon,” said Jonathan How, a meteorologist.
More than 200mm of rain has fallen over many areas, with some hit by as much as 350mm since Saturday.
The volume of rainfall was almost half of Sydney’s annual average.
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