Australia to Evacuate Thousands in Worst Floods in 60 Years

SYDNEY (Reuters) -
Livestock is seen as floodwaters rise in the suburb of Windsor, as the state of New South Wales experiences widespread flooding and severe weather, in Sydney, Australia, Monday. (Reuters/Loren Elliott)

Australian authorities are planning to evacuate thousands more people on Monday from flood-affected suburbs in Sydney’s west, which is set for its worst flooding in 60 years with drenching rain expected to continue for the next few days.

Unrelenting rains over the past three days swelled rivers in Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales (NSW), causing widespread damage and triggering calls for mass evacuations.

Torrential rain which has submerged large swathes of NSW is in stark contrast to the weather conditions in the same regions a year ago, when authorities were battling drought and catastrophic bushfires.

“I don’t know any time in a state history where we have had these extreme weather conditions in such quick succession in the middle of a pandemic,” Berejiklian, the Premier of NSW, said.

Authorities said around 18,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas of the state.

Large parts of the country’s east coast will get hit by more heavy rains from Monday due to the combination of a tropical low over northern Western Australia and a coastal trough off NSW, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) official Jane Golding said.

“We expect this heavy rain to fall on areas that haven’t seen as much rain over the last few days, we expect the flood risk to develop in those areas as well,” Golding told reporters.

Some places in Sydney’s western regions have seen the worst flooding since 1961, authorities said, as they expect the wild weather to continue until Wednesday.