The death toll from devastating floods in eastern Australia continues to rise. Australian broadcaster ABC confirmed two more victims in the notably affected city of Lismore on Wednesday, citing officials. So far three people have died in the state of New South Wales. According to police, another victim was also recovered in neighboring Queensland. So far ten people have died here.
Given the dramatic situation in many areas, officials expected more deaths. “Indeed, we know we may see more deaths in the coming days,” said New South Wales deputy premier Paul Tolle. “It’s a horrifying incident.”
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After visiting the city of Ipswich, Queensland Regional Prime Minister Annastasia Palaszczuk said the situation was “indescribable”. Rebuilding the area will take a long time. The public is desperate. Many are crying and don’t know what to do next.
Emergency services continued to work tirelessly to help those in need. Hundreds of schools remained closed, roads were closed.
But there was still no clear: meteorologists predicted more heavy rain with potential flooding, particularly for the area around Australia’s largest city Sydney and to the south-east of Queensland. The Queensland Weather Service warned on Twitter of “largest hailstorms” and “possibly destructive gusts of wind”.
Extreme weather was triggered by an area of slow moving low pressure. Some areas received as much rain in a few days as would normally happen in a whole year. Meteorologists say that this was the worst summer in the last 30 years.
Entire cities were literally “swallowed” by water masses. Brown floods were meters high in many houses and streets. According to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the time window in which drastic climate changes and the extreme weather events they cause can still be counteracted is getting smaller and smaller. (dpa)