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SYDNEY: Thousands of people in southeastern Australia were asked to evacuate their homes on Friday (14 October) as two days of incessant rain triggered flash floods and rapidly moving water burst river banks. .

Officials said much of Victoria, southern New South Wales and northern Tasmania’s island states were hit by a severe weather event late Wednesday, with some areas receiving more than a month of rain. rice field.

Dean Narramore, a weather service forecaster, told ABC Television, “(This) is causing widespread and massive flooding, with record flooding in some rivers, which continues to move downstream. will only get worse,” he said.

Footage on social media showed people walking through knee-deep water with their pets and being rescued by boats.

Many rivers in Victoria, including the Mulliveenon River in west Melbourne and the Goulburn River further north, reached massive flood levels, prompting residents to evacuate at night.

Data show that water levels in the Goulburn River at Seymour, about 100 kilometers north of Melbourne, have exceeded a record 7.64 m reached in May 1974.

Victoria’s Prime Minister Daniel Andrews told ABC: “It’s far from over. We will see the water levels rise.” , more and more communities will be put on lockdown.”

Andrews said the state’s dedicated COVID-19 quarantine facilities, which were closed last week after Australia lifted quarantine rules, could reopen to protect flood-affected residents. I was.

In Tasmania, hundreds of residents of southern New South Wales spent the night in shelters as the flood crisis intensified after an overnight evacuation order was issued.

Heavy rains are expected to ease from late Friday, but officials said flooding could continue into the weekend.

Devastating floods have hit Australia’s east coast repeatedly since early last year. This is due to the multi-year La Niña event, which brings more rain. Floods hit Melbourne as heavy rains hit three Australian states

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