Daily US Times: Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) authorities have been evacuated about 18,000 Australians across the state as heavy rain continues to batter the east coast.
Days of torrential rains have caused dams and rivers to overflow around Sydney – the state capital – and in south-east Queensland.
The weather forecast predicted that the “one-in-a 50-year event” may continue all week and have urged the public to exercise caution.
Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, has offered funds for those forced to flee.
He said on Monday: “It’s another testing time for our country.”
There has been widespread damage in the affected areas, which are home to about a third of the country’s 25m people.
Gladys Berejiklian, the Premier of the state, said many of the communities “being battered by the floods” had been affected by bushfires and drought the previous summer.
She said: “I don’t know any time in state history where we have had these extreme weather conditions in such quick succession in the middle of a pandemic.”
Emergency services across the state have conducted at least 500 rescues, including winching people from cars. One stranded family was lifted from their flooded home by a helicopter.
State authorities have said responders also evacuated saved a family with an infant from flooding in their home in Sydney’s west.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has said the rainfall, up to 1,000mm in some areas, has been “extraordinary” in recent days.
You may read: Australia warned of ‘life-threatening’ flash floods