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More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surroundings have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes

More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surroundings have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes.

SYDNEY (Australia) — More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia’s largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months.

Parts of the city of 5 million people are facing a fourth flooding emergency in a year and a half after torrential rain since Friday caused dams to overflow and waterways to break their banks.

“The latest information we have is that there is a heavy chance that the flooding will be worse than any of the other three floods those areas had in the last 18 months,” Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The current flooding might affect areas that managed to stay dry during the previous floods, Watt added.

New South Wales state Premier Dominic Perrottet said evacuation orders and warnings impacted 32,000 people.

“You would probably expect to see that number increase over the week,” Perrottet said.

Emergency services had made 116 flood rescues in recent days, 83 of them since 9 p.m. Sunday, he said. Hundreds more requests for help were made by Monday morning.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology manager Jane Golding said some areas between Newcastle, north of Sydney, and Wollongong, south of Sydney, had received more than a meter (39 inches) of rain in the previous 24 hours.

Some have received more than 1.5 meters (59 inches).

More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surroundings have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes

residents of Sydney

“The system generating this weather does show signs that it will ease tomorrow, but throughout today, expect more rain,” Golding said.

Rain was forecast across New South Wales’s coast, including Sydney, all week, she said.

The flooding danger was most serious along the Hawkesbury River in northwest Sydney and the Nepean River in Sydney’s west.

“The water is flowing quickly,” Golding said. “It is dangerous out on the rivers, and we have some more rain to fall, which means the flash-flood risk is not over yet.”

State Emergency Services Commissioner Carlene York said strong winds had toppled trees, damaging rooves and blocking roads. She advised against unnecessary travel.

Off the New South Wales coast, a cargo ship with 21 crew members was drifting at sea after losing power.

Local reports said the ship that left Wollongong on Monday morning was anchored near the coast, and a tugboat was working to keep it from nearby cliffs and rocks.

A more powerful tugboat was heading to the location to tow the stranded cargo ship to sea. A plan to airlift the ship’s crew to safety was abandoned because of bad weather.

Repeated flooding was taking a toll on members of a riverside community southwest of Sydney, said Mayor Theresa Fedeli of the Camden municipality on the Nepean River.

“It is just devastating. They keep saying ‘devastating, not again,'” Fedeli said.

“I keep saying, ‘We have got to be strong; we will get through this.’ However, you know deep down it’s really hitting home hard to a lot of people,” she added.

Perrottet said government and communities needed to adapt to major flooding becoming more common across Australia’s most populous state.


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