News ID: 100576
Publish Date : 02 March 2022 - 21:50

SYDNEY (Dispatches) - Thirteen people have been killed as the extreme weather has moved from Queensland state into New South Wales (NSW),submerging town centers, washing away homes and cutting powerlines, the latest four deaths recorded in the worst-hit northern NSW town of Lismore.
Tens of thousands of Sydney residents were ordered to evacuate as major flooding hit the western fringe of the city of 5 million, with torrential rain continuing to batter Australia’s east coast.
Rivers in Sydney’s west rose rapidly, prompting the night (local time) evacuation of suburbs along the Hawkesbury River, which reached major flood levels.
Residents of Penrith, a large population centre downriver from the Warragamba dam, which began overflowing, were warned to prepare to leave. Authorities said inundation along the rising Nepean River at Penrith could exceed last year’s flood, the worst in 60 years.
Earlier, the bodies of two women aged in their 80s and a man in his 70s were discovered in their flooded homes in Lismore in the north of the state, and another man was found floating in the street in the town centre.
More deaths were expected as police check houses as waters recede.
State officials also told of lucky escapes, including a 93-year-old woman discovered floating on a mattress 20 centimeters from the ceiling in her Lismore home by a police officer passing by in a boat.
The officer dove through a flooded window to rescue her on a “boogie board”, a child’s version of a surfboard, deputy state premier Paul Toole said.
State Premier Dominic Perrottet, who flew over the flooded towns, said 17 local government areas had been declared disaster zones in an “unprecedented situation”, and urged people in Sydney to evacuate if they are given the order by emergency crews.
The wild storm cell has been making its way down from Queensland state, into neighboring New South Wales, and worsening rain was expected to hit Sydney in the early hours of tomorrow.
The Bureau of Meteorology said Sydney siders should brace for months of rain in a few hours.
“Hundreds of thousands of people have been impacted by this event,” the New South Wales emergency services minister, Stephanie Cooke, told broadcaster ABC. “It is not over by any stretch of the imagination.”

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