On Friday, thousands of people were urged to leave towns in three states as flash floods inundated hundreds of houses in southeast Australia.
Victoria, the second-most populated state in Australia, was experiencing severe floods, forcing residents of the Melbourne district of Maribyrnong to leave their homes.
Some trapped people had to be rescued by inflatable rescue boats, while the floodwaters almost totally submerged cars left on the suburb’s streets.
The Anglers Tavern, a bar beside the Maribyrnong River, had water on the first level.
500 houses in Victoria had been “inundated,” said state leader Daniel Andrews, while another 500 residences were encircled by floodwaters and shut off from help.
“That number will undoubtedly increase. Currently, choppers are in the air doing damage assessments “Early Friday afternoon, Andrews added.
The state emergency agency said that while the brunt of the storm had gone by late Friday morning, the floods would worsen as water poured downstream into overflowing river catchments.
Disaster services spokesperson Tim Wiebusch told reporters that “our flood emergency here in Victoria continues to worsen.”
There aren’t many areas in Victoria that won’t see significant floods in the next several days.
By the start of next week, roughly 4,000 properties in Shepparton, which is two hours north of Melbourne, may see flooding, according to Wiebusch.
According to emergency management commissioner Andrew Crisp, the Australian army is being sent to some areas of Victoria to assist locals in sandbagging their homes before floodwaters reach.
This is a problematic situation for Victoria, he said.
People would be housed at an abandoned Covid-19 quarantine facility with a capacity for 1,000 people.
“Lives in danger.”
Tasmania, an island state south of Victoria, was also prepared for significant flooding on Friday in its northern regions.
Orders for widespread evacuation were issued, and 120 routes had to be closed due to excessive rain.
Floodwaters pose a danger to lives, according to a statement from Tasmania’s state emergency agency.
Following heavy rains on Thursday evening, an evacuation center was established in New South Wales, the state with the highest population in Australia, in Forbes, an interior town five hours east of Sydney.
According to the emergency agency for New South Wales, flooding in Forbes may reach its climax on Friday as water flows downstream.
Due to consecutive La Nina episodes, Australia’s east coast has seen significant rainfall on many occasions during the previous two years.
More than 20 people lost their lives in the east coast flooding tragedy in March, which was brought on by powerful storms ravaging Queensland and New South Wales regions.
When floods again inundated the city’s suburbs in July, tens of thousands of Sydney residents were given the order to leave.
La Nina episodes are not caused by climate change, but since warmer air contains more moisture, experts think it may make times of floods more severe.