13 people have died since the bad weather started late last week

Australia evacuates tens of thousands, and Sydney prepares for heavy rains

  • Heavy rain water impeded the movement of people in several Australian regions.

    EPA

  • The property was destroyed on the banks of the Nepean River, west of Sydney.

    Reuters

  • Bad weather conditions flooded the streets and disrupted the movement of vehicles.

    EPA

  • Relief workers continue to provide support to those affected in various regions.

    EPA

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Tens of thousands of Australians have fled their homes and a hospital was evacuated yesterday, as the country's east coast was hit by more torrential rain.

Thirteen people have died since the bad weather began late last week, which led to the flooding of city centers, razing homes and cutting power lines.

The storm, bringing with it rain, hit Sydney, a city of more than five million people, late yesterday, and authorities issued warnings of possible major flooding of rivers in the west of the city.

More bodies are expected to be discovered, with police checking homes as the water recedes.

In the northern city of Ballina, the main hospital was evacuated.

New South Wales Premier Dominic Beirut, who yesterday airlifted the flooded cities, said 17 local government areas had been declared disaster areas in an "unprecedented situation" and urged people in Sydney to evacuate, if issued to them. Orders to do so from emergency crews.

An air mass is making its way from Queensland to neighboring New South Wales, as the rivers in Sydney began to peak yesterday evening.

The Bureau of Meteorology said Sydney residents should prepare for months of rain in a few hours.

Officials reported that the Waragamba Dam, the city's main source of water, began flooding yesterday morning.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecast major flooding overnight from the dam in Penrith and North Richmond, two large population centers downstream.

Emergency teams carried out 300 flood rescue operations, after receiving 2,200 requests for help overnight.

Military helicopters carried stranded people over rooftops, while motorists and animals were rescued from a bridge, which was submerged on both sides.

• New South Wales Premier Dominic Beirut: 17 local government areas have been declared disaster areas in an “unprecedented situation”.

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