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Flood after a fire in New South Wales, Australia

In Australia, entire settlements in the southeast of the continent were flooded, especially near Sydney, in light of torrential rains that lasted for days. The prime minister watched from a helicopter the frustrating conditions in which thousands of people fled disaster relief this week.

It was the worst flooding in this region in decades, with two-thirds of the annual rainfall in many places within a few days.

New South Wales’ first minister, Gladys Prejiklian, warns that several thousand more will be in danger as rivers rise steadily. Catchment areas last maybe fifty years, but there are places where only so much water was seen a hundred years ago.

The local government has requested support from the army, it will need at least a thousand soldiers after the floods to clear roads and settlements.

“It’s crazy, especially compared to the conditions in England,” says one young man. “This weather can be called almost severe. Once it floods, then forty degrees, which ignites the forests. It’s unimaginable!”

In this part of the continent, the population’s resilience has been tested to the greatest extent by natural disasters in recent years. Where everything was flooded now, a year and a half ago, the forests had been burning in the dry heat for months. More than 63,000 square kilometers of forest and thousands of homes were burned, and more than a billion animals perished in the 2019-2020 bushfire season in Australia.

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