World News: Torrential downpours in Australia’s New South Wales have caused massive floods in and around the cities of Sydney and Queensland. As many as 18,000 people have reported to be evacuated immediately.
The floods are considered to be one-in-50-year miraculous phenomenon that will ever happen in Australia. No deaths have been reported, but heavy damage to property and wildlife was witnessed.
New South Wales’ premiere Gladys Berjekilian described the floods as a miracle that the country has been through. Emergency services of the state have conducted nearly 750 rescue operations, rescuing people from low lying areas through winch cars and helicopters. Rescuers were seen recently picking up an infant from a vulnerable area near Sydney.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has recorded rainfalls of up to 900 mm in certain worst areas. Television and online footages showed homes and trees uprooted from their original places and being carried away by heavy flowing floods. Local residents of the vulnerable areas captured and circulated clips of damage done to their locality by the floods.
Hawkesbury and Nepean rivers, the two rivers that bind the capital city, Sydney of New South Wales to the north and the west witnessed water levels rising up to 13m (42 feet), causing massive flooding of Sydney city. The rising water levels of these rivers cut off many bridges across the city. Nearly 150+ schools in and around Sydney were closed on Monday.
The two rivers witnessed such a phenomenon lastly back in 1961, causing similar floods of similar magnitude. In addition to rising rivers, Warragamba dam, city’s main water sources overflowed, discharging 500 gigalitres of water, equal to the Sydney Harbour volume. The runways of Newcastle Airport in New South Wales have also flooded causing flight operations to shut down temporarily until further clearance.
Just last year, the East Coast of Australia suffered from heavy drought and bush fires that consumed nearly 7% of land in New South Wales. A year later the same region is suffering from heavy floods. Expert climate scientists point out this phenomenon as La Nina, a weather pattern that increases average rainfall of up to 20% from December to March in Australia.