Sunday, July 21, 2024

Tens of thousands of people have been forced from their homes by Sydney floods


Four days of heavy rain in Sydney has left rivers overflowing and flooding homes and roads. Tens of thousands of people living in Australia’s most populous city were forced to flee their homes on Tuesday, July 5. Officials in New South Wales have called for about 50,000 people to evacuate, with 28,000 preparing to do so, officials said.

People paddle through a flooded street in Windsor, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.  Hundreds of homes have been flooded in and around Australia's largest city.

Emergency services, assisted by a hundred soldiers, carried out 142 rescues in twenty-four hours. Australia is particularly vulnerable to climate change, suffering from persistent droughts, devastating bushfires, not to mention repeated and increasingly severe floods.

A state of natural calamity has been declared in 23 regions

The heavy rain fell on already relatively wet ground, causing water levels to rise rapidly, particularly in Sydney’s western suburbs. “It’s too sudden”Agence France-Presse (AFP) Gordon Lee, who lives in Sydney’s western suburb of Shanes Park, said he was inundated between the night of Monday July 4 and Tuesday July 5. “We didn’t have time to take anything, we took our dogs and went to the high place in the street”he added.

Mr. who was a farmer. When Lee retired about 15 years ago, the flood was low. “I see young people trying to farm here (…) But they lose everything”.

According to weather services, the weather front will move north along the coast. “Sydney is not in danger, now is no time to relax”State Emergency Services Director Carlene York said.

A house has been flooded in Windsor, a suburb of Sydney, Australia.  The country is particularly affected by climate change.

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrott called on people to comply with evacuation orders. “This event is still far away”. The federal government has declared a state of natural disaster in 23 flood-affected areas of New South Wales and relief has been provided to affected people.

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Four floods in eighteen months

Many residents affected by this weather event have already been affected by successive floods on the East Coast, in 2021 and in March, andTwenty people died. This is the case of 62-year-old Alan Dalrymple, who lives in Windsor, in Sydney’s western suburbs. His house has been flooded four times in eighteen months. admits to being “A Little Angry”.

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“There’s not much you can do about it (…). You keep smiling. No need to complain because nobody wants to hear people complain, that’s for sure”he told AFP.

A resident tries to cross the overflowing Nepean following torrential rains that flooded western Sydney on July 5, 2022.

Windsor Police Station staff have been evacuated, police say. Most of the affected areas are overflowing downstream of the Warragamba Dam west of Sydney. It supplies most of the city’s drinking water.

“East Coasters are going through a very difficult time right now”Prime Minister Anthony Albanese approved. “My thoughts are with the affected people again and again, many of these communities have been affected by the wildfires.”, he told reporters. He invited the people “Be safe and alert”.

Rain has eased in parts of Sydney, but the flood warning is likely to last for several days, the State Met Office’s Jane Golding said.

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The world with AFP