Large parts of the Australian state of New South Wales on the east coast are again under water after repeated heavy rain. The emergency services are facing "the largest flood operation in the history of the state," Australian broadcaster ABC reported on Tuesday. More and more rescue workers and volunteers from all over the world would join the rescue teams, especially from New Zealand, Singapore and the USA.
"We've had volunteers from all over the world when it comes to fighting wildfires, but as far as I know this is the first time they've come for floods. And I want to thank them," said the region's Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet.
West of the metropolis of Sydney, more than 200 people have been rescued from the floods since Monday. Many had fled to the roofs of their houses. The rescue teams were also deployed with helicopters.
Evacuation orders were issued in the community of Forbes on the Lachlan River on Tuesday, telling residents to evacuate their homes immediately after the flood waters rose rapidly. It is the second devastating flood in two weeks. "People are shocked," Mayor Phyllis Miller said. "You can't believe that this can happen twice in such a short time."
Huge masses of water drained from the Wyangala Dam above the Lachlan River - about 320 kilometers from Sydney. On Monday alone, 230,000 megaliters per day fell from the dam into the river, it said. Video footage showed trees and plants being swept away by the water. A spokeswoman for 9News said the scenes resembled a massive tsunami.
On Australia's east coast, new rainfall and flooding have been causing desperation for months. Many people have lost everything. Many animals are said to have died in the floods. In addition to New South Wales, the states of Queensland, Victoria and South Australia were also recently affected. The country is particularly suffering from the consequences of climate change. A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from February 2022 assumes that Australia will be hit by devastating natural events even more frequently in the future.
Video of Wyangala Dam by The Guardian