Status: 05.07.2022 08:56
Floodplains in Australia are seeing as much rain as London’s usual in a year – in four days. State of disaster applies to New South Wales, tens of thousands of people flee.
The Australian government has declared severe flooding in the most populous state of New South Wales in recent days a natural disaster. Emergency funds for affected areas on the east coast should be released more quickly.
The greater Sydney area is particularly affected, where massive amounts of rain have fallen since Friday. Meteorologists calculated that more rain fell there in four days than in London in an entire year.
As broadcaster ABC reports, there is currently an evacuation order for 50,000 people. A corresponding order for 32,000 people was issued on Monday. Hundreds of residents have asked for help. Emergency services came out again and again to pump out homes and save people.
Nearly 20,000 homes were without electricity, entire areas were under water meters. Drivers trapped in flooded streets were freed, people were pulled out of flooded houses. According to authorities, the situation is particularly dire along the Hawkesbury and Nepean rivers north of Sydney and in the western outskirts.
In March, devastating floods took place in Sydney and large parts of New South Wales and Queensland. Parts of the metropolis, home to around five million people, are now grappling with the fourth flood situation in 16 months. Many people fear again and again for their existence. The media quoted a man whose home in the suburb of Lansvale has been hit by flash floods twice in the past 48 hours:
we’ll sell. We can’t do this again.
impact of the climate crisis
An area of low pressure between the east coast of Australia and the North Island of New Zealand is responsible for the rain masses. It brings moist air and strong waves to the New South Wales coast. “Due to previous above average precipitation in the summer and parts of the fall, this rain is falling on moist soils and full water reservoirs,” wrote climate expert Mark Howden of the University. Australian National in the Sydney Morning Herald. As a result, rivers swell at lightning speed and overflow their beds.
Howden warned that such extreme weather events will become more frequent in the future “if we don’t act now”. A clear plan is needed quickly to combat the effects of global warming. Because Australia is particularly suffering from the consequences of climate change – heat waves, bushfires and ever-increasing floods at ever-shorter intervals are the result.
Not quite clear yet
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wants to get to the disaster area as soon as possible. For him, the crisis is the first big test. The head of the laboratory, who has only been in office since May, has made the fight against climate change a central point on his agenda. Among other things, it foresees a new “mega-ministry for climate change, energy, environment and water”. The previous Conservative government of coal advocate Scott Morrison, on the other hand, was heavily criticized for its passive climate policy.
Regional Premier Dominic Perrottet urged people to follow instructions from authorities. “If there is an evacuation order, please leave your house.” The crisis is “all but over”, said the politician. “Please don’t be complacent wherever you are. Be careful when driving on our roads. There is a significant risk of flash flooding in our state.”
Heavy rain is also expected in parts of New South Wales for the rest of the week.