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Thousands More Evacuate in Sydney Even Though Heavy Rains Ease | World News

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A wild storm system that hit parts of Sydney with heavy rains for four days has moved away from the city, satellite images showed on Wednesday, although rivers remained above danger, forcing further evacuations.

More than 85,000 people in New South Wales, mostly in the western suburbs of Sydney, have either been evacuated or warned they could receive more than 50,000 evacuation orders on Tuesday, authorities said.

“This is still a dangerous situation and we need to respond appropriately,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said during a media briefing as he announced a one-time emergency cash payment of A $ 1,000 ($ 680) for flood-affected residents.

The severe depression from Australia’s east coast has spread over 300 kilometers (186 miles) along the mid-north coast of New South Wales, with the Meteorological Bureau forecasting more than 200 mm (8 inches) of rain there in six hours.

Heavy rains since Saturday have been pouring into river basins around Sydney, already close to full capacity before the latest flooding, as authorities warn that the flood crisis could drag on until early next week.

The weather on Australia’s east coast is dominated by the La Nina phenomenon, usually associated with greater rainfall, two years in a row. The event ended in June, but according to the weather bureau, there is a 50-50 chance that it could reshuffle later this year.

Television footage showed cars parked on the roof and residents lined up homes and businesses with sandbags, while emergency crews were seen rescuing stranded farm animals.

Some areas of New South Wales have received up to 700 mm (28 inches) of rain since Saturday, more than the annual average, but the situation in Sydney is starting to ease.

“We’re looking at some dry conditions tomorrow and then Friday (in Sydney), there will be some light rain over the weekend but nothing as heavy as what we saw,” meteorologist Jonathan Howe told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

(1 = 1.4710 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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