Thousands ordered evacuated as floods “threaten” Sydney
Thousands of Australians in Sydney have been ordered to evacuate their homes on Sunday as torrential rains lash the country’s largest city and flood its suburbs amid fears of a repeat of the severe coastal flooding this past March, triggered by heavy storms that devastated western Sydney, claiming the lives of 20 people.
Several roads across the city were blocked and authorities say many evacuation orders were issued in western Sydney, an area that was hit by severe flooding last March.
There are 15 evacuation orders in place targeting 3,500 people, while 17 evacuation notices have been managed for another 6,000, ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ newspaper has reported.
Experts expect torrential rains to continue until Tuesday, with the next 24 hours being the most dangerous.
“This is a life-threatening emergency situation,” Stephanie Cooke, emergency services minister for the state of New South Wales, has told reporters.
Australia is suffering from a spate of severe inclement weather, with flooding, deadly bushfires, episodes of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and torrential rain increasingly common and intense.
With worse weather expected in the coming days, Cooke has described the flooding as a “rapidly evolving situation” and warned people to be “prepared to evacuate at any time.”
Emergency services have already attended more than 29 flood rescues and have been called out more than 1,400 times in the past 24 hours, he said.