As floods recede, Australians return to their homes

Authorities sped up clean-up efforts and introduced new support packages for homeowners who lost their houses after torrential rains abated and floodwaters retreated on Thursday, allowing thousands of Australians to return to their homes.

Since late last month, torrential rains have flooded river banks across Australia’s southeast, drowning homes, farms, and bridges, and isolating entire communities. So far, twenty-one persons have been killed.

“We know it’s been a sad period up here,” New South Wales state Premier Dominic Perrottet said from the worst-affected Northern Rivers region. “We know it’s been a devastating time up here, probably moving through the initial shock for many people and the trauma that comes with it.”

Many people are already returning to their houses in very tough conditions, many of which are uninhabitable,” Perrottet said as he revealed a A$551 million ($403 million) flood relief package that includes up to 16 weeks of rental assistance for flood victims.

Authorities reported more than 1,200 people remained in emergency housing in the Northern Rivers region, with 3,000 homes considered uninhabitable.

Rescue teams, including members of the armed forces, took advantage of the improved weather to clear debris and provide necessary supplies, but many residents were enraged by the lack of power and internet for several days.

In the face of criticism for tardy aid, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is trailing in the polls in an election year, declared the floods a national emergency on Wednesday and proclaimed disaster zones in flood-stricken communities.

According to a report released on Thursday by the Climate Council of Australia, the recent floods were “one of the most catastrophic disasters in Australian history,” with “wide-ranging” devastation. The Insurance Council of Australia projected total damages at A$1.77 billion ($1.30 billion).

Meanwhile, Sydney’s skies cleared after nearly two weeks, but serious flooding remained in the city’s western suburbs of North Richmond and Windsor as water from overflowing dams and rivers continued to flow. Floodwaters are expected to remain at present levels for the next 24 hours, according to emergency services.

Latest articles

Australia: Flood-affected Fitzroy ready to start new school year

To start the new school year in Fitzroy Crossing, teachers who had been evacuated to Broome due to the flooding were flown back home...

Australia deploy 70 more defence personnel in UK to train Ukrainian recruits

Today, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, the Hon. Richard Marles, MP, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon. Penny...

Brexit: What happens after UK’s exit?

When December of 2020 rolled around, the Brexit discussions between the UK and the EU were in their final stages. In January of 2021,...

Australia strengthen higher education with first global treaty

Australia has ratified the first international agreement governing higher education, facilitating greater global mobility for Australian educational institutions and their students. The new UNESCO Global...

Related articles