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Australia: Floods in Sydney worsen, 50,000 to evacuate

July 5, 2022

Emergency workers have said they carried out dozens of rescues overnight. Authorities say a high flood risk could remain through the week.

A man in a yellow vest and a kayak in a flooded Sydney suburb, behind him are cars stuck in water
50,000 people in New South Wales have been asked to evacuate or could receive evacuation ordersImage: Loren Elliott/REUTERS

Flooding in Sydney intensified as torrential rains kept battering Australia's east coast on Tuesday.

About 50,000 residents in the state of New South Wales have been told to either evacuate or warned they may receive evacuation orders, up from 30,000 on Monday, authorities said.

Emergency workers said they carried out 22 flood rescues in Sydney overnight. The workers had the support of 100 army troops deployed by New South Wales.

Officials said that the disaster had led to power cuts for 19,000 homes.

'This event is far from over'

"This event is far from over, please don't be complacent," New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet said.

"Wherever you are, please be careful when you're driving on our roads. There are still substantial risks for flash flooding."

"We're asking people across Sydney today to please stay at home unless you really need to leave the house," state Emergency Management Minister Steph Cooke said.

A flooded structure in a Sydney suburb, the partially-submerged words "flood level" are marked on the side of it
Flooding could remain throughout the week, even after torrential rains easeImage: Loren Elliott/REUTERS

When will flooding ease?

Heavy rain is likely to ease in Sydney on Tuesday, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

However, the bureau warned that the risk of flooding could remain through the week. Most river catchments were already near capacity even before the latest deluge.

"The good news is that by tomorrow afternoon, it is looking to be mostly dry but, of course, we are reminding people that these floodwaters will remain very high well after the rain has stopped," Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Jonathan How said.

The Bureau of Meteorology said that about 90 millimeters (3.5 inches) of rain could fall over six hours in New South Wales' middle to north coast from Tuesday. Winds up to 90 kilometers per hour (56 miles per hour) are also forecast in a number of areas.

sdi/wmr (AP, AFP, Reuters)