Floodwaters swamp Melbourne as heavy rain slams Australian states
Thousands of people in southeastern Australia were ordered to evacuate their homes on Friday, including some west of Melbourne, after two days of incessant rain that caused flash floods and rapid water runoff. Eruption on the banks of the river.
Much of Victoria, southern New South Wales and the northern parts of the island state of Tasmania have experienced an intense weather system, with more than a month of rain since Wednesday evening, officials said.
Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Dean Narramore told ABC television: “(It has) caused widespread and severe flooding… Some rivers are experiencing record flooding and it will only get worse. “
Footage circulating on social media showed people with their pets entering knee-deep water and some being rescued from boats.
Several rivers in Victoria, including the Maribyrnong west of Melbourne and the Goulburn further north, have reached significant flood levels, prompting residents to evacuate overnight.
The Goulburn River at Seymour, about 100 km (62 mi) north of Melbourne, reached a record 7.64 m (25 ft) in May 1974, the data show.
“It’s not over yet, we’ll see the waters rise,” Victoria Premier Danielle Andrews told ABC. “We will see that more and more water will continue to rise, more and more homes will be submerged, more and more communities close”.
Andrews said the state-built quarantine facility specifically built for COVID-19, closed last week after Australia ended isolation rules, could be reopened to house residents affected by the floods.
In Tasmania, the flood crisis intensified following new evacuation orders overnight, as hundreds of residents in southern New South Wales spent the night in evacuation centers.
Officials said while heavy rains are expected to subside by Friday evening, flooding could continue throughout the weekend.
Devastating floods have hit Australia’s east coast repeatedly since the beginning of last year, as La Nia’s multi-year weather event brings more rain.
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