Thousands More Evacuate Homes in Sydney even as Heavy Rains Ease

Environmental News from the Asia Pacific: 

  • The storm system moves away from Sydney, and satellite images show
  • More than 85,000 either evacuated or face having to do so
  • Prime minister declares one-off emergency cash payments
  • Some signs that the weather could ease from Thursday

A wild storm system has moved away from Sydney after pounding Australia’s largest city with four days of torrential rain, satellite images showed on Wednesday, although river waters stayed above danger levels, forcing more evacuations.

The year’s third major flooding episode saw more than 85,000 people in New South Wales, most of them in Sydney’s western suburbs, asked to evacuate or warned they might be asked to do so, up from 50,000 on Tuesday, authorities said.

“This still remains a dangerous situation and we need to respond appropriately,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told reporters during a visit to the Sydney suburb of Windsor.

He announced a one-off emergency cash payment of A$1,000 ($680) to those hit by the floods.

Yet frustration with the government’s response was evident as Albanese visited a volunteer emergency relief shelter.

“Everyone is talking about fixing the same problem … nothing has happened,” a resident of the area told Albanese, in images broadcast by television. “The locals are always prepared, the government is not.”

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Source: Reuters

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