Australia storms: Floods spark evacuation warnings for NSW cities

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Australian authorities have issued evacuation warnings for low-lying towns in northern New South Wales (NSW) as storms hit the country’s east coast.

On Tuesday, emergency officers said they had received about 150 calls for help in the past 24 hours.

Huge waves hit the coasts of NSW and southeast Queensland on Monday, causing great erosion.

An already exhausted beach in Byron Bay – a popular vacation spot – has all but disappeared, according to the locals.

Authorities said the storm moved south on Tuesday, bringing the risk of flooding into interior New South Wales.

  • Byron Bay Beach “almost disappeared” in Australia’s storms

They told communities around the Tweed River to evacuate Tuesday after it blew up its banks. Some electricity, internet and other utility networks were also interrupted.

Meteorologists say the system has already released an amount of rain similar to a cyclone – about 1,000mm over four days.

Australia is currently experiencing a La Niña weather pattern that typically brings more rainfall and tropical cyclones in the summer.

what’s new?

Heavy rain affected a 1,000 km stretch of Australia’s east coast – including Brisbane and the Gold Coast – but was expected to wear off late Tuesday.

In one area, the Upper Springbook in Queensland, nearly three feet of rain had fallen since Saturday, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

NSW’s state rescue service said it has carried out 12 flood rescues to date to warn people to stay inside and not drive through floods.

Some roads in the area between Tweed Heads and Taree had to be closed due to flooding.

Image rightsLIVE TRAFFIC NSWImage descriptionHeavy rain in northern New South Wales has resulted in flooding and road closures

On Monday, Queensland authorities warned they had seen “abnormally high” tides up to 30 cm higher than normal. All beaches in the area have been closed.

Officials also recorded 8-meter waves and storm winds in excess of 104 km / h in Byron Bay.

Around 2,500 emergency aid calls have been made in both states since Thursday, mainly due to water damage to houses, fallen trees and power poles.

There are no confirmed reports of injuries or deaths, but authorities said they are investigating the death of a man in a car accident on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

Media signatureIn Byron Bay, a dog is rescued from beneath a sea of ​​foam

How bad is the weather

A La Niña season is historically associated with increased rainfall and flooding in Australia.

Two of Australia’s three wettest years were recorded during the La Niña events, and since 1900, 12 of the 18 events have recorded flooding.

In La Niña, the average rainfall in eastern Australia rises 20% from December to March, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

However, scientists say climate change is also increasing the effects of La Niña, making weather patterns more irregular.

New South Wales Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian, whose state was hardest hit in the bushfires last summer, said experts expected conditions “to be worse than what we have seen in several years”.

“I hope what we have seen in the last few days will not be repeated often in the summer, but it could,” she said on Tuesday.

“I know a lot of Northern New South Wales residents are used to flood conditions, but the bushfire season taught us last year to expect the unexpected.”

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Media signatureLast summer: Australia’s 2019/2020 season with wild weather extremes

Related topics

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  • Australia climate
  • Queensland
  • Australia
  • Floods
  • New South Wales

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