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Australia floods: Western Sydney 'greatest concern' as more rain falls

Published : Tuesday, 23 March, 2021 at 9:17 AM  Count : 255

Australia floods: Western Sydney 'greatest concern' as more rain falls

Australia floods: Western Sydney 'greatest concern' as more rain falls



Western Sydney is now the "greatest concern" from the worst floods in decades to have ravaged eastern Australia, PM Scott Morrison says.

Parts of New South Wales have seen almost 1m (3.2ft) of rain, flooding hundreds of homes and severing roads, reports BBC.

Mr Morrison warned of more rain and days of danger to come as the emergency became not "just a coastal event".

He said Sydney's largest dam would overflow for at least another week, threatening highly populated areas.

Warragamba Dam discharged 500 gigalitres on Sydney - equivalent to the volume of Sydney Harbour.

"We advise that the rain and flood situation does remain dynamic and extremely complex," Mr Morrison said on Tuesday.

No deaths had been reported but thousands of people have been evacuated and troops deployed after days of torrential downpours across the country.

The prime minister said the rain was expected to ease on Wednesday but the flood threat would remain.

Western Sydney is now the "greatest concern" from the worst floods in decades to have ravaged eastern Australia, PM Scott Morrison says.

Parts of New South Wales have seen almost 1m (3.2ft) of rain, flooding hundreds of homes and severing roads.

Mr Morrison warned of more rain and days of danger to come as the emergency became not "just a coastal event".

He said Sydney's largest dam would overflow for at least another week, threatening highly populated areas.

Warragamba Dam discharged 500 gigalitres on Sydney - equivalent to the volume of Sydney Harbour.

"We advise that the rain and flood situation does remain dynamic and extremely complex," Mr Morrison said on Tuesday.

No deaths had been reported but thousands of people have been evacuated and troops deployed after days of torrential downpours across the country.

The prime minister said the rain was expected to ease on Wednesday but the flood threat would remain.

A BoM tweet said an area as large as Alaska - stretching from NSW to the Northern Territory - was now being affected by weather warnings.

Mr Morrison said "full impact assessments" were still to be made in Sydney.

In all, 10 million people are under warnings in every state and territory except Western Australia.

A low pressure weather system that has been inundating the NSW coast for days has now been met by another weather system inland that is moving east.

The bureau has forecast "increased rainfall, strong winds, damaging surf and abnormally high tides" in the state on Tuesday.

The BoM's flood manager, Justin Field, said it was "probably the worst flooding that I've experienced" in 20 years of forecasting.

The military is being deployed to help with search and rescue.

But the bureau did predict some respite, tweeting: "Most areas of New South Wales will see a clearing trend early Wednesday as a drier airmass moves into the region."

What has been the damage so far?

"Several hundred homes have been flooded, roads damaged, wildlife lost [and] telecommunications and power outages across the flooded areas have been reported," Mr Morrison said.

Emergency crews had conducted at least 700 rescues and 9,000 insurance claims had been lodged already, he added. More than 2,500 people had applied for financial assistance.

People in many areas have been ordered to evacuate and others have been given evacuation warnings.

An order requires people to seek shelter with family or friends well away from flood impacted areas, or in a special centre. The warning tells people to prepare for an evacuation order.

Areas around the Colo and Hawkesbury rivers are of particular concern. They are seeing the worst flooding since 1961.

TF

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