Heavy rains have been plaguing eastern Australia for days, and today’s heavy rains in the southeast continue to intensify the flooding that has been described as a “once-in-a-century” event. So far, dozens of towns in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, have been submerged, and emergency services fear that more than 54,000 people may be displaced.
According to the Associated Press, as of Monday, 18,000 people in New South Wales had been forced to evacuate in what Governor Gladys Berejiklian called a “once-in-a-century” disaster, noting that 38 areas of the state were listed as disaster areas and that she did not know if any other state in history had ever been affected by a disaster like this. I don’t know if any state in history has ever been hit by a pandemic and extreme weather disaster like this one after another.
According to reports, the Bureau of Meteorology predicts that the rain will continue through Wednesday, and local emergency services say the downpour could bring the worst flooding in 1961. Thousands of people received 40 flood warnings and 20 evacuation orders on the north central coast of New South Wales and west of Sydney.
Justin Robinson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, noted that in his 20 years in the business, this was probably the worst flooding he had ever seen. Robinson also said that water in the Nepean Valley area of Hawkesbury, Sydney, was at its highest on Sunday, higher than the record level in 1961.
Thankfully, according to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Scott Morrison) pointed out that so far no one has been killed by the disaster, but he also warned that buildings, roads and trees can be dangerous after their roots have been washed away, and the water level rose close to power lines, also have the same safety risks.