Friday, 12 August, 2022
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Sydney floods: Tens of thousands told to evacuate

Sydney floods: Tens of thousands told to evacuate

Tens of thousands residents have been told to evacuate their homes in Sydney, following torrential rain and flash flooding in Australia's largest city.

Roads have been cut off, with 18 evacuation orders in western Sydney alone and warnings of more to come.

"This is a life-threatening emergency situation," Stephanie Cooke, emergency services minister for the state of New South Wales, said.

The area was hit by flash flooding in March, killing 20 people. Sydney's main dam had also started to spill overnight - a further concern for the authorities.

Experts say the flooding emergency has been worsened by climate change and a La Niña weather phenomenon. A La Niña develops when strong winds blow the warm surface waters of the Pacific away from South America and towards Indonesia. In their place, colder waters come up to the surface.

In Australia, a La Niña increases the likelihood of rain, cyclones and cooler daytime temperatures.