Extreme weather batters Australia for 3rd day
A powerful storm has been battering Australia’s New South Whales Province for three straight days, causing enormous difficulty in and around Australia’s biggest city, Sydney.
“The weather still remains dangerous and the conditions are dangerous so this is not a time for complacency,” said New South Wales State Premier Mike Baird.
To the north of Sydney, three people died in flooding in the town of Dungog on Tuesday, and two people went missing in the raging waters in Maitland on Wednesday.
Many cars, and even houses, have been washed away by flood waters while numerous others have been damaged by falling trees and power lines.
Insurance companies say there have been 20,000 damage claims totaling up to an estimated USD 100 million due to the storm.
Some 200,000 houses across New South Wales are reportedly without power.
Sydney, the Central Coast and Hunter Valley have been battling cyclonic wind gusts and non-stop downpours since Monday as weather agencies forecast a continuation of severe conditions, including heavy rain and high winds on Wednesday before the situation eases.
State Emergency Service (SES) officials said crew had taken nearly 10,000 calls for assistance since Monday and carried out 100 flood rescues, with an enormous amount of work ahead.