Thousands of people on Australia's east coast are fleeing their homes on Wednesday as heavy rains head north after flooding Sydney with roads and bridges submerged in muddy waters.
Authorities in New South Wales have warned of further flooding north of Australia's biggest city and warned that flooding rivers, swollen by rain, still pose a danger in parts of Sydney, despite a decrease in rainfall in the city.
“This event is far from over,” warned Dominic Perrottet, Prime Minister of the State.
Since the floods began nearly a week ago, emergency services have issued more than 100 evacuation orders.
85,000 people must leave
85,000 people have been ordered to leave their homes immediately or prepare for imminent departure so as not to be stranded by rising waters.
Across Sydney's western fringe, rivers have burst their banks and large areas have been turned into lakes, with muddy waters invading homes while cutting off roads and bridges.
The federal government has declared a state of natural disaster in 23 flooded areas of New South Wales, releasing aid for affected residents.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese traveled to the affected area on Wednesday, promising to seek "long-term solutions" after multiple catastrophic floods have hit Australia's east coast over the past 18 months.
The country affected by climate change
While "Australia has always been prone to flooding and bushfires", scientists warn that climate change will make these events more frequent and intense.
"That's what (is) happening," he said.
Australia is particularly affected by climate change, regularly hit by droughts, devastating forest fires, not to mention repeated and increasingly severe floods.
According to the weather services, the rainy front is expected to move up along the coast later in the week.