Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his government is looking at “long-term solutions” to combat climate change as more residents in the country’s largest city are impacted by the latest round of massive flooding triggered by torrential rains.
Emergency authorities issued evacuation orders and warnings Wednesday for 85,000 residents in Sydney, the capital of New South Wales state, up from Tuesday’s figure of 50,000 residents.
A strong storm cell that first struck the area last week produced several days of torrential rain that caused dams and rivers to overflow, swamping roads and inundating hundreds of homes in and around Sydney. Emergency workers have conducted several rescues of people trapped in their homes or cars stuck in flooded roads.
Forecasters at Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology say the weather system has begun to move off the coast of Sydney.
New South Wales state has declared a natural disaster for 23 areas across the state, which authorizes financial assistance for affected residents.
Sydney is facing its fourth major flooding event since March 2021, causing billions of dollars in damages.
Prime Minister Albanese told reporters in Sydney Wednesday that while “Australia has always been subject of floods, of bushfires,” scientists have repeatedly warned that climate change would make such events “more frequent and intense.”
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse.