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Australia evacuates tens of thousands as heavy rains threaten Sydney -Breaking


Renju Jose & Kirsty Needham

SYDNEY, (Reuters) – Tens of thousands fled their homes on Wednesday after torrential rains ravaged the east coast. Authorities evacuated a hospital.

13 people died, including four in Lismore, New South Wales, where the most severe flooding has occurred. The extreme weather, which arrived last week to submerge town centres and cut power lines, caused the deaths of thirteen people.

Sydney, which is home to 5 million people, was set to be hit by the storm on Wednesday. There were warnings for major flooding and possible damage in its west.

Two bodies were found in Lismore, north Texas, by two elderly women and one man in his 70s. A third man, also in flood-damaged homes, was discovered floating on the streets of Lismore.

As the waters recede, police continue to check homes for potential deaths.

Other state officials spoke out about lucky escapes. A 93-year-old woman was found on her Lismore house’s ceiling floating on a mattress by an officer in a boat.

Paul Toole, deputy premier of state, said that the officer jumped through a window and rescued her using a “boogieboard”, which is a kid’s version.

Janelle Saffin (67), the area’s state legislator, told media earlier how Janelle swam safely to safety when her house was submerged.

Nearby Ballina saw the evacuation of the major hospital. Dominic Perrottet the State Premier, flew to the affected areas Wednesday. Perrottet informed people living in Sydney that 17 of the local government areas were declared disaster areas in an “unprecedented” situation and asked them to evacuate immediately if the emergency crews give the order.

It has been slowly moving from Queensland into New South Wales. On Wednesday, rivers in Sydney will begin to rise.

Stephanie Cooke from New South Wales’ emergency services ministry stated that “Hundreds of thousands have been affected by this incident.” She spoke to ABC. The disaster isn’t over.

According to Bureau of Meteorology Sydneysiders can expect months of rain in just a few hours. This is because officials have reported that Warragamba Dam – the main water source for Sydney – began overflowing Wednesday morning.

The bureau stated that major flooding occurred Wednesday evening in Penrith, North Richmond and other large centres of population downriver from North Richmond.

According to one expert, the catastrophe raised questions as to how well the country is prepared for severe climate change.

“Despite decades of warnings from scientists about climate change, Australia is unprepared for the supercharged weather that it is now driving,” said Hilary Bambrick, adjunct professor at Queensland University of Technology, who led the health impacts assessment for Australia’s national climate change review.

After receiving 2,200 calls for assistance overnight, emergency crews performed 300 flood rescues. Following the rapid rise of water at both ends, military helicopters flew stranded civilians to safety.

Cassie Skillings was stranded on the bridge with her niece, nephew and sister. Radio station 2GB reported that a resident saved them by his boat.

“It wasn’t just mayhem. Shipping containers started hitting bridges. I called triple zero, and they told me there was no way to stop it.” she stated.