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Parts of eastern Australia in crisis due to severe flooding

Wednesday, March 9th 2022, 2:51 pm - Australia's largest city, Sydney, also recently experienced flooding. Meteorologists said it was Sydney's wettest summer for 30 years.

Sydney (dpa) - Parts of eastern Australia are battling with severe flooding following torrential rains as officials warned on Monday of a life-threatening situation.

Many people, especially around the city of Lismore in the state of New South Wales, had taken refuge on the roofs of their homes to escape rapidly rising waters, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday.

He spoke of a crisis situation and planned to consult later in the day with the country's emergency authorities on how to proceed.

Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg described the situation as unprecedented and life-threatening.

Australia flood/Jason O’brien/AAP/dpa via Reuters A family steer their boat through a flooded street in the town of Lismore. Queensland's southeast is set to endure more wild weather as the state grapples with a days-long flood crisis. (Jason O’brien/AAP/dpa)

Writing on Lismore's website, he said the community was facing "one of the most difficult periods in its history." More than 15,000 people in the region have already been moved to safety from the flooding.

Australia's largest city, Sydney, also recently experienced flooding. Meteorologists said it was Sydney's wettest summer for 30 years.

Meanwhile, in the neighbouring state of Queensland, the death toll rose to eight. Three people are still missing, according to police reports.

The metropolis of Brisbane and the cities of Gympie and Maryborough were particularly badly affected, as well as areas along the Sunshine Coast. The region has seen as much rain in a few days as it normally does in an entire year.

Australia flood/Darren England/AAP/dpa via Reuters An armchair floats in floodwaters in the Brisbane suburb of Milton. Queensland's southeast is set to endure more wild weather as the state grapples with a days-long flood crisis. (Darren England/AAP/dpa)

More than 50,000 homes are without power. Hundreds of schools remain closed, and public transportation such as buses, trains and ferries have been suspended.

The extreme weather was triggered by a slow-moving low-pressure system.

Australia is being particularly badly affected by climate change. In mid-January, large parts of the country were still sweltering under a merciless heatwave, with temperatures of more than 50 degrees recorded in the west of the country.

Thumbnail courtesy of Jason O’brien/AAP/dpa.

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