Flooding: thousands of Sydney residents forced to evacuate
Sylvie Claire / July 5, 2022
Flooding rivers following four days of heavy rains submerged homes and roads, forcing tens of thousands of Sydney residents from their homes Tuesday.
The New South Wales emergency services, which assisted 22 people on Monday night, called on some 50,000 people to evacuate.
Flooding, heavy rainfall and high winds caused power outages in some 19,000 homes.
Australia is particularly hard hit by climate change, with regular droughts, devastating forest fires, and repeated and increasingly intense flooding.
The Premier of New South Wales, Dominic Perrottet, called on the population to comply with evacuation orders, saying that this event is far from over.
The federal government has declared a state of natural disaster in 23 flooded areas of New South Wales, releasing aid to affected residents.
The heavy rains fell on already partly soaked ground, causing the water to rise rapidly, especially in the western suburbs of Sydney.
It's so sudden, you can't even get out that fast, you can't even move anything, Jenny Lee, a resident of Shanes Park in Sydney's western suburbs, told AFP.
This is one of the most terrifying floods I have ever experienced.
Most of the affected areas are downstream of the Warragamba Dam, west of Sydney, which has overflowed. It provides most of the city's drinking water.
The rain has subsided in parts of Sydney, but flood warnings will likely persist for several days, warned Jane Golding of the state's weather service.