Thousands of Australians flee their homes as floods inundate towns

Thousands of Australians flee their homes as floods inundate towns

March 31, 2022: -Heavy rains deluged Australia’s east coast on Wednesday, submerging entire towns. At the same time, thousands of people fled their homes for the second time within weeks after fast-moving floodwaters burst river banks and broke over levees. Some towns in northern New South Wales, already reeling after record floods for more than a month, were pounded by an intense low-pressure system overnight.

Officials said some regions took a month’s rainfall in under six hours. “Unfortunately, overnight, our worst fears have been realized with significantly heavy rainfall across saturated landscapes,” New South Wales Emergency Services Minister Stephanie Cooke said in a media briefing.

The main street in Byron Bay, a popular tourist destination nearly 750 km (465 miles) north of Sydney, was inundated with several shops underwater, television footage showed. One family was seen wading out through knee-deep water, one woman with a child on the hip, and different members carrying suitcases filled with belongings.

“Oh, it’s devastating,” Annick Nuylle, a Byron Bay store owner, said. “I’ve put many years and a lot of love and hard work, so no matter if there is or there is no insurance, I think it’s my livelihood, and it has been my life for 17 years, so it’s unfortunate.”

Dean Prosser, another resident of Byron Bay, said he had not seen so much rain in the over 50 years he has lived in the town. “We just had too much waterfall out of the sky,” he told broadcaster ABC.

Fourteen evacuation orders and eight warnings along the northern New South Wales coast, stretching around 500 km (311 miles).

In the northern New South Wales city of Lismore, among the worst impacted by record floods in March, water levels in the city’s Wilsons river breached the levee height of 10.65 meters. Data showed that Lismore, home to nearly 30,000 people, received around 400 mm (16 inches) of rain over 24 hours up to Wednesday morning.

Local media reported no official warning that the levee had been breached after sirens malfunctioned.

“Everything falls apart in Lismore at the moment second time in a month,” Mayor Steve Krieg told Nine Network. Footage in social media showed stranded vehicles, which include a caravan, floating on flooded streets.

Police said they have been searching for a woman believed to be missing in floodwaters near Lismore since Tuesday night after reports that her vehicle became stuck. So far, two people have died in the latest weather event.

Editor's Choice

Posts You Might Like

Leave us a message


Fill the form our team will contact you

Advertise with us

Fill the form our team will contact you​