Sydney Floods Kill One Man and Force Thousands To Evacuate

Torrential rain and flash flooding in Sydney, Australia have killed one man and forced thousands to evacuate their homes.

According to New South Wales state emergency services minister Stephanie Cooke, “this is a life-threatening emergency situation.”

Australian media reported that roads were no longer accessible after the floods. There were also 18 evacuation orders for western Sydney alone, with more expected to come.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology reported that up to 350mm of rain had fallen in certain locations, putting areas near the Nepean River in danger of flooding. Sydney’s major dam had also started leaking overnight, raising more concerns among officials.

Flash floods, riverine flooding, and coastal erosion are among the current threats we currently face, Ms. Cooke said at a press event after the meteorological warning.

The minister also stated that the situation was “rapidly developing” and advised people to be “prepared to evacuate at short notice.”

According to Ms. Cooke, emergency services had rescued at least 83 people from flooding in the last 24 hours alone. She said the situation “unfortunately shows that people aren’t necessarily hearing the advice that we continue to put out multiple times a day in relation to this flooding event.”

Authorities also asked people to postpone any non-essential travel or activities at the time.

Floods and heavy torrential rains also left one victim. Earlier, an unidentified man fell from a kayak into the Parramatta River in western Sydney and died.

Local media said emergency officials responded to a person who saw him struggling in the water and tried to revive him, but the individual died at the scene.

Sydney, Australia’s largest city, was also hit by flash floods in March, leaving 20 people dead. At that time, the State Emergency Service received calls for help from more than 2,500 people and Australian Defense Force soldiers were deployed to assist in rescue efforts.

Experts say that climate change and the La Niña weather phenomenon, which increases the rain and cyclones probability in the country, have aggravated the flood emergency.