SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 2 December 2022, Friday |

Australia’s New South Wales braces for more floods with 64 warnings

New South Wales, the most populous state in Australia, was braced for further heavy rain and potential flooding on Saturday as the number of weather warnings reached 64 and officials encouraged people to exercise extreme caution and avoid travel.

Sydney is anticipated to see rain, and local and inland rivers have both received flood warnings after rain since Wednesday, according to meteorological officials, elevated their levels in several areas of the state.

“There is significant risk of flash flooding right across our state,” Dominic Perrottet, the premier of New South Wales, told reporters.

“We currently have a situation where our dams are full, our rivers are full, so with heavy rain expected, we ask everybody to continue to be cautious.”

Preparations to fight the floods included Australian Defence Force and emergency services helicopters and 500 emergency services volunteers placed on standby.

 

There have been 10 flood rescues in the past 24 hours, the emergency service added.

Australia’s east is in the grip of a rare third straight year of the La Nina weather event, which brings more rain. With almost three months left in 2022, Sydney this week recorded its wettest year since records began in 1858.

More rain expected overnight will add to the risk of flash flooding, landslips, and fallen trees, said Steph Cooke, the state’s emergency services minister.

“We are really asking communities, especially those across Sydney this evening, to please take care,” Cooke said.

The challenge is made more daunting by expectations that roads will be busier than usual as schools return on Monday from spring break and about 200,000 spectators head home from a supercars championship.

Authorities urged motorists not to drive on flooded roads.

The rain is expected to ease on Sunday before moving offshore, although the middle of the week could bring more significant rainfall, the Bureau of Meteorology has said.

Australia’s east coast has been repeatedly hit by devastating floods this year. In March, rising waters forced tens of thousands from their homes, with at least 13 deaths.

    Source:
  • Reuters