Canberra : Floods in Australia’s biggest city Sydney has so far killed one man and forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes amid continuing torrential rain, BBC reported on Monday.
Roads have been cut off, with 18 evacuation orders in western Sydney alone and warnings of more to come.
Australia had been hit by major flooding in March, killing 20 people, many in NSW.
“This is a life-threatening emergency situation,” Stephanie Cooke, emergency services minister for the state of New South Wales, said adding “We are now facing dangers on multiple fronts – flash flooding, riverine flooding and coastal erosion”.
Her warning came as the Bureau of Meteorology said up to 350mm of rain had hit certain areas, risking flooding along the Nepean river.
Sydney’s main dam had also started to spill overnight – a cause of further concern for the authorities.
There had been 83 flood rescues by emergency services in the past 24 hours alone, Cooke said.
Her warnings come as an unnamed man was killed after falling out of a kayak on the Parramatta River in western Sydney. Emergency officials attempted to revive the man after he was spotted struggling in the water by a member of the public, but he died at the scene.
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.