40,000 ordered to evacuate amid Australia floods

Sydney, Australia, Mar 1 (EFE).- The Australian authorities ordered the evacuation of some 40,000 people on Tuesday due to the flooding on the east coast, which has claimed the lives of nine people, and as wild weather headed towards Sydney.

Torrential rain in Queensland and New South Wales has left a trail of devastation, which has not yet been quantified, and has submerged cities such as Brisbane, the third most populated in the country, and Gympie 170 kilometers further north, as well as Lismore, 600km north of Sydney.

In Lismore, where many residents had to retreat to the roofs of their houses, as well as in other towns on the north coast of NSW, more than 1,000 people have been rescued, state Premier Dominic Perrottet said at a press conference in Sydney.

Perrottet, who announced that 17 jurisdictions have been declared disaster areas, also said 26 evacuation orders have been issued affecting some 40,000 people across the state, with another 300,000 residents given orders to prepare to flee.

“We know that at the moment this is focused on the north. But very quickly, as we’re seeing in metropolitan Sydney now with severe and heavy rainfall, it will move to the south,” warned the premier, referring to a forecast for heavy rain starting tonight in the Australia’s most populated city.

At least nine people have lost their lives – eight in Queensland and one in New South Wales, and another 11 remain missing – two in Queensland and nine in New South Wales.

In some parts of Queensland the waters have begun to recede and clean-up tasks have begun, although the authorities have problems distributing aid by land and there is concern about the possible arrival of new storms. EFE


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