- According to the Australian Prime Minister, severe flooding in eastern Australia has led to a “crisis situation”.
- Hundreds of people in New South Wales state were still on their rooftops on Monday night (local time) waiting for help, and more than 50,000 homes were without power.
- The extreme weather is being driven by a slow-moving low pressure area – and meteorologists expect more heavy rain.
Many people, especially around Lismore in the state of New South Wales, fled to their rooftops from the rapidly growing masses of water. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said they were waiting hard there.
Lismore Mayor Steve Craig described the situation as “life threatening”. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say “it’s disastrous”. More than 15,000 people in the area have already been moved to safety from the floods. “We have never seen anything like this here,” the mayor was quoted by the Australian AAP news agency as saying.
It was preceded by days of heavy rain. The severe weather is driven by a low pressure region that is only slowly moving. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke of a “crisis situation” and wanted to consult with the country’s emergency authorities on how to proceed. He promised those affected with financial and logistical support. According to the media, desperate scenes appeared. Many Australians were shedding tears.
Do not loom for the situation
Several rescue workers under the most difficult conditions tried to get people to safety from rooftops before dark, 9News radio reported. “Dozens of people are trapped in the water and cannot escape unless they are rescued by boat,” the radio said. Some residents made holes in their roofs – the only way to escape when their homes were flooded. Sometimes the water reaches the ceiling.
Regional Prime Minister Dominic said there were “several worrying reports” from people in need in the area. “I am asking people who are currently in isolation to be patient and trust that we are doing everything we can to help you.”
A easing of the situation was not yet in sight: meteorologists predicted more rain in the next few days. There have also been floods recently in Sydney, Australia’s largest city – according to experts, this summer was the wettest in the capital in 30 years.
Australia has been particularly hard hit by climate change. In mid-January, large parts of Down Under were still sweating under the unforgiving bell of heat. In the west of the country, values of over 50 degrees have been recorded in some cases.
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