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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Flooding in the East – Australia declares national emergency

  • The Australian government has declared a national emergency in the wake of devastating floods on the East Coast.
  • This means those affected in flood areas can be helped more quickly and with less bureaucracy.
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the measure during a visit to the northern New South Wales city of Lismore, where the destruction is particularly severe.

Morrison also promised additional financial aid for flooded areas and families particularly affected. A flood of this magnitude occurs once in 500 years, Morrison stressed to reporters. “There has never been a flood like this in living memory in this part of Australia and this is a profound statement.”

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Immediate measures should be taken to better prevent floods in the area. Above all, people need “hope for the future”.

Since late February, a slow-moving low pressure system has caused historic flooding in the states of Queensland and New South Wales. The metropolis of Sydney, which has been raining continuously for almost two and a half weeks, is also affected. Meteorologists call Australia’s largest city the warmest start of the year since weather records began in 1858.

60,000 people affected

Officials on Tuesday issued warnings and orders for the evacuation of about a dozen suburbs due to rising water levels in the river. About 60,000 people were affected. As a result of the floods, the otherwise shimmering blue waters in the world-famous Sydney Harbor were also gray. The sea of ​​many beaches in the metropolis is polluted and full of flotsam, “from Palm Beach to Cronula,” according to the region’s environment ministry. That’s why many places have advised against swimming in the sea.

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Australia is particularly badly affected by climate change. From August 2019 to March 2020, the devastating bushfires destroyed millions of hectares of land. And just a few weeks ago, Western Australia was still sweating under a relentless heat dome. Sometimes a value of more than 50 degrees was recorded.

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