Australia’s capital, Sydney, faces its fourth, and possibly worst, round of flooding in less than a year and a half. At least 30,000 residents were forced to evacuate Monday after several suburbs in Australia’s largest city were flooded. About 100 millimeters (4 inches) of rain could fall in the next 24 hours in New South Wales, from Newcastle to the south of Sydney, a distance of more than 300 kms (186 miles). „This is a rapidly evolving situation and we could very well see areas impacted that have never experienced flooding before,” New South Wales emergency services minister Steph Cooke said in a televised media briefing on Sunday evening. It was declared „a life-threatening emergency situation,” The weather bureau predicted water levels in the areas of North Richmond and Windsor northwest of Sydney would peak at higher levels than in the past three major flood events since March 2021. The bureau has issued flood warnings for the Hawkesbury, Nepean and Colo rivers where levels in some parts of these catchments have already exceeded levels recorded earlier this year.
Evacuation centers are open in western Sydney at Canley Vale’s Cabra-Vale Diggers Club, the Narellan community center, Gymea Tradies Club, Richmond Club, North Richmond community center and Castle Hill RSL.The government has activated the satellite emergency management system. At least 29 people have been rescued from floodwaters. Buses are replacing trains on the South Coast line between Kiama and Bomaderry as commuters are asked to avoid all non-essential travel. Days of torrential rain caused dams to overflow and waterways to break their banks. Severe weather warnings remain in place.