The east coast of Australia’s largest city, Sydney, was battered by destructive winds and torrential rain on Sunday, and floods that were projected to be worse than those that struck the area last year prompted thousands of residents to be urged to leave.
Rain was predicted to get heavier on Sunday night, and it was already threatening to cause flash floods and landslides throughout the east coast of New South Wales state, from Newcastle to Batemans Bay.
“Do not presume that you will be secure tonight just because you were in 2021. Since the situation is swiftly changing, it’s possible that places would be affected that have never seen floods “In a televised media conference on Sunday night, Steph Cooke, the minister of emergency services for New South Wales, made the statement.
She asked people to postpone vacation travel earlier in the day because of the bad weather, which arrived at the start of the school break.
Cooke said, “This is a life-threatening emergency scenario.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, numerous locations have received more than 200 millimeters (8 inches) of rain, with some receiving up to 350 millimeters, posing a danger of flooding along the Nepean and Hawkesbury Rivers.
The meteorological agency forecast that water levels in North Richmond and Windsor in Sydney’s northwest will peak at levels greater than in the last three significant flood events since March 2021. Camden in southwest Sydney was under water.
State Emergency Service Commissioner Carlene York warned that “this might grow considerably worse throughout the course of the night.”
Sydney’s main dam spilled early on Sunday morning, according to water authorities, who also noted that modeling indicated the leak will be equal to a significant breach at the Warragamba Dam in March 2021.
“The dams are too small to hold any more water. They are beginning to leak. Rivers are moving really quickly and are quite dangerous. Depending on where the rain falls, there is also a possibility of flash flooding “explained York.
In the last 24 hours, 29 individuals have been rescued from floodwaters after receiving close to 2,000 cries for help, including one lady who was clinging on to a pole for an hour while rescuers battled to reach her.
Police said that they had rescued the corpse of a man who had fallen out of a kayak from Sydney Harbour, adding that the circumstances were still under investigation but seemed to be related to the windy weather.
According to Defense Minister Richard Marles, the Australian government has sent the state 100 soldiers and two helicopters to assist with any rescue efforts.