Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Thousands Evacuate Worst Australian Floods in Decades - Tasnim News Agency

Worst Australian Floods in Decades

(Tasnim) – Tens of thousands of people had been ordered to evacuate their homes by Tuesday and many more had been told to prepare to flee as parts of Australia’s southeast coast are inundated by the worst flooding in decades that has claimed at least nine lives.

Scores of residents, some with pets, spent hours trapped on their roofs in recent days by a fast-rising river in the town of Lismore in northern New South Wales state.

The body of a woman in her 80s was found by a neighbor in her Lismore home on Tuesday, a police statement said. There were no details of how she died, AP reported.

There were concerns that householders who climbed into their roof spaces through ceiling manholes could become trapped by rising waters.

A police rescue officer had saved an elderly woman from such a roof space that was almost filled with water, Lismore State Emergency Service Commander Steve Patterson said.

“He dived in through a window, noticed the manhole cover was open, when he checked, found a 93-year-old lady with about 20 centimeters (8 inches) left of space before the water hit the top,” Patterson told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Dozens of cars were trapped on a bridge in the nearby town of Woodburn over Monday night with both the bridge’s approaches submerged.

Up to 50 people were rescued from the bridge early Tuesday, officials said.

“We had no capabilities to get them off in the dark so we just had to make sure that they bunkered down and we went in this morning and got them all out,” Woodburn State Emergency Services Commander Ashley Slapp said.

The flood waters are moving south into New South Wales from Queensland state in the worst disaster in the region since what was described as a once-in-a-century event in 2011.

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet said there had been 1,000 rescues in his state by Tuesday and more than 6,000 calls for authorities to help.

Perrottet said 40,000 people had been ordered to evacuate, while 300,000 others had been placed under evacuation warnings.

“We’ll be doing everything ... we can to get everybody to safety and get these communities right across our state back on their feet as quickly as possible,” Perrottet said.

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