Sunday, April 14

Sydney Rain Pulls Away, More People Evacuated

Although the storm system that brought heavy rains to parts of Sydney for four days has dissipated, more people are forced to leave their homes due to flooding.


In the Australian state of New South Wales, more than 85,000 people have been asked to evacuate or have been warned that they may receive an evacuation order, authorities report. On Tuesday it was still about 50,000 people.

The low-pressure system off the east coast of Australia has moved towards the coast in northern New South Wales. The Australian Weather Agency predicts that more than 200 millimetres of rain could fall in some places in six hours. Heavy rainfall continues to spill over into the rivers around Sydney, which are already nearing their maximum levels. Authorities warn that the crisis could last until early next week.

Most people who have been called to leave or warned that an evacuation may be imminent live in Sydney’s western suburbs. “This is still a dangerous situation and we must respond with appropriate measures,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said during a visit to the Windsor suburb. It is the third time this year that the suburb has experienced flooding. During the visit, Albanians announced that flood-affected residents will receive a one-time emergency payment of 1,000 Australian dollars.

Residents are frustrated with the way the government is tackling the problems, the prime minister’s visit revealed. “Everyone is talking about solving the same problem…nothing has happened,” one resident told Albanian. “The locals are always prepared, the government is not.”

The weather on Australia’s east coast has been dominated for two years by the La Niña phenomenon, which typically leads to increased rainfall. La Niña ended in June, but there is a 50 percent chance of the phenomenon returning this year, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

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