Parts of Sydney in Australia have received about eight months’ worth of rain in just four days leading to roads being cut off, houses flooded and hundreds left without access to power.
Driven by a La Niña weather pattern, the floods in Australia has left about twenty dead, many of them in New South Wales. Greater Sydney witnessed about 100 evacuation orders being issued. The nearby Hunter and Illawarra regions have also experienced bad weather and people in 50 other areas have been asked to evacuate.
In the state of New South Wales, over 800mm of rain has fallen according to the Bureau of Meteorology. This is a third more that the rainfall Greater London sees in a year. The downpour is supposed to ease on Tuesday but gale-force winds are expected which will cause trees to fall and powerlines to snap.
NSW Emergency Services Minister Stephanie Cooke said, “The emergency is far from over.”
The Australian authorities are pleading with people to evacuate. The authorities had called on rescuers when the people were asked to evacuate two days ago.
Speaking after evacuating his partner from their house by kayak, Tyler Cassel told Australian Broadcast Corporation that locals were tired of the constant threat to their homes and lives.
He moved into his home in the Sydney suburb of Windsor last year, and was told major flood events were supposed to be “one in 25 years, one in 50 years or whatever it was”.
“Now it has been three in 2022,” he told the ABC. “We’ve become experts around this area now… you are almost living on the edge.”
According to experts, the flooding emergency has been made worse by climate change and a La Niña weather phenomenon. The BBC says, 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.