Hundreds of houses were flooded in and around Sydney, Australia’s largest city, an emergency situation threatening 45,000 people, authorities said on Tuesday.
Overnight, teams of rescuers rescued 100 people trapped in cars on flooded roads or in waterlogged houses in the Sydney area, State Emergency Service Director Ashley Sullivan said.
Torrential rains in recent days have caused dams and rivers to burst their banks, triggering the fourth flood emergency since March last year in parts of the city of five million people.
Overnight, the New South Wales state government declared a disaster area in more than 20 local government areas, triggering financial aid from the federal government for flood victims.
Evacuation orders and warnings to be prepared to leave home affected 45,000 people as of Tuesday, up from 32,000 on Monday, Sullivan said.
“The weather will stay at least through today and tomorrow, and the threat will stay with those flood watches for the rest of the week,” Sullivan told the Nine Network television.
Parts of southern Sydney were hit by more than 20cm of rain in 24 hours, more than 17% of the city’s annual average, said Jonathan How, a meteorologist with the Bureau of Meteorology.
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