Australia floods force thousands to evacuate for the second time in a month

Updated: Apr 08, 2022, 01:30 PM(IST)

Hundreds more Sydney residents were forced to flee their homes on Friday, some for the second time in a month, as rivers burst their banks, even as an extreme weather system that dropped a month's worth of rain in a matter of hours began to diminish.

Disastrous floods

According to authorities, a man was found dead after his car was washed away by floodwaters in the city's southwest, while television images showed flooded roads, homes and businesses.

Three separate violent weather patterns have pounded Australia's east coast in the last six weeks, with numerous districts still trying to clear tonnes of debris after disastrous floods swamped entire towns.


Emergency services

"Whilst the rainfall has started to ease in most places, we do expect to see those river levels continue to rise for some time before they start to ease back over the next 12 to 24 hours," New South Wales emergency services Acting Commissioner Daniel Austin said at a media briefing.


More rain than usual

The relentless rain has increased the risk of flash flooding and landslides, with Sydney already receiving more rain than it normally receives in a year.

Official data revealed that Sydney, which had its wettest March on record, received roughly 170 mm (6.7 inches) of rain on Thursday.


Thousands forced to evacuate

Many people in the city's western suburbs were instructed to evacuate in early March, and they were told to leave again this week. Flooding has forced the evacuation of over 4,000 people.

"It is heartbreaking, just heartbreaking. I feel sorry for the local businesses ... they have been working hard cleaning up and then it came up again out of nowhere," according to ABC television, a resident of a flood-stricken Sydney neighbourhood.


Dam overflowing

On Friday, the Bureau of Meteorology predicted up to 50 mm (2 inches) of rain, with major rivers in the western suburbs expected to exceed their peak levels later in the day. On Friday, Warragamba Dam, Sydney's main water source, began to overflow.

The east coast of Australia has been dominated by the La Nina weather phenomenon, which is often accompanied with greater rainfall.


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