Two people have been killed in a week of torrential rains in the region’s most populous state, New South Wales. Cities were flooded, crops were destroyed, and many homes were severely damaged.
Thousands of Australians affected by the floods on the country’s east coast began extensive clean-up operations on Thursday, revealing the extent of the damage as the water receded. Two people have been killed in a week of torrential rains in the region’s most populous state, New South Wales. Cities were flooded, crops were destroyed, and many homes were severely damaged.
On Thursday, David Williams returned to his home in Londonderry, northwest of Sydney, where he could only see “terrible damage” caused by flooding in knee-deep water. “It hurts the heart,” he congratulated himself, “was able to save a lot of things”. He said he had just begun the “long process” of waiting to clear the stain of catastrophic floods. Williams AFP He once dumped more than eight trailers of valuables and turned them into a pile of rubbish thrown on the side of the road.
Her neighbors, an elderly couple, were less than lucky. In their house, the muddy water, which was carrying all the debris, rose to waist height. “They lost everything. They have nothing left. They have some memories, that’s all.”
In some parts of Sydney’s North Coast, hundreds of firefighters and volunteer firefighters took part in the operation, removing mud from traffic lanes and using chainsaws to clear debris. Ben Sheppard, a rural fire department analyst, told the AFP that his teams were working to “get back to normal” quickly, but “in some areas it could take weeks or even months”.
“Purpose of the mission”
Farmers also gave a hand without hesitation to travel hundreds of kilometers in trucks to deliver straw to “those who lost everything”. In the vastly flooded region, many residents have been isolated and more than 20,000 are still unable to return to their homes. “We believe most of the rivers have reached their peak,” said New South Wales Prime Minister Gladys Perezglian, who called on people to be vigilant. “In some areas that have not seen so much rain for half a century or even a century, the water level will continue to rise,” he said.
Since the floods began last weekend, more than 12,000 calls have come to the rescue and more than a thousand people have been relieved. The floods reached some parts of the interior. On Thursday, television cut the city of Mori in two by a swollen river.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the flood situation in Sydney is “developing and very dangerous”. The evacuations are continuing as it is expected to rain for another day or two. #AustraliaFlutes#NSWFloodspic.twitter.com/yErQtaVgIO
– Weather Network (@weatherNetwork) March 23, 2021
The sun is forecast to continue to shine in the flooded areas next week. Near Sydney, across the swollen Hawksbury River, relief workers are busy delivering food and essentials to more isolated areas.
Bianca Tolhurst, who lives in the interior of Richmond, was able to save her horses and livestock when her farm was swept away by the waves, but she was “tired” of the amount of work waiting for her. “Until the water recedes, we don’t know what to do or where to start,” a resident told AFP.
Thousands of homes and businesses have suffered major damage and insurance companies have already received 22,000 claims. In some parts of the coast, one meter of water fell in a week, which is equivalent to two-thirds of normal annual rainfall. Scientists have warned that Australia could be prone to extreme weather events, especially due to climate change.
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