Thousands of residents of Australia’s east coast left their homes on Wednesday due to floods sweeping the region. The heavy rain is now heading north, having previously inundated Sydney.
Authorities in New South Wales have warned of fresh flooding north of Australia’s largest city, in the Hunter region known for its vineyards. Parts of Sydney are still subject to flooding, although there is little rainfall in the city. “We are far from finished with this,” said Dominic Beirut, the state’s prime minister.
Since the floods began nearly a week ago, 85,000 people have been asked to leave their homes immediately, or prepare to leave quickly, to avoid being clogged by rising waters.
Across Sydney’s western edge, rivers overflowed, turning entire regions into lakes. Muddy water enters homes, roads and bridges are cut off. Meteorologists said Sydney received as much rain in four days as London does in a year.
In 23 flooded areas of New South Wales, the federal government has announced contingency plans, which will release resources to help affected residents. As of Thursday, those affected will receive A$1,000 (663 euros) per adult and $400 (265 euros) for children, in emergency aid.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrived at the scene in the affected area on Wednesday, promising to look for long-term solutions. Over the past 18 months, there have been frequent heavy flooding on the east coast of Australia.
In his election campaign, Al-Albani, who has been in power since May, promised to tackle the climate crisis. The government of his predecessor Scott Morrison has been criticized for being too negative about climate problems.
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