It is as if nature is testing the inhabitants of Australia for strength: a year ago they survived the strongest forest fires in the foreseeable history, then, as in the whole world, a pandemic with lockdowns was established, and now there is an unprecedented flood. In some regions of the southeast of the country, there has been no such flooding for a century, in others - for several decades.
As the portal Phys.org writes, citing a number of local sources, more than 18 thousand people were evacuated on Monday. In some coastal regions of New South Wales, a three-month rainfall fell in a matter of hours. The special services received almost nine thousand calls for help in less than a day. Fortunately, despite the incredible rampage of the elements, not a single case of death has been recorded so far.
According to New South Wales Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian, the state is facing its worst flood in a century. The government turned to the Armed Forces for help in evacuating residents and rebuilding infrastructure. Despite the fact that the rains have subsided and some residents were allowed to return to their homes by Monday evening, the region remains an emergency.
In Sydney, eight million residents were advised not to leave their homes unnecessarily and to work remotely. The city has not seen such high water levels since the 1990s, when the Warragamba Dam discharge occurred. Then, in a few hours, the runoff of the hydrological structure passed through itself virtually the entire volume of the Sydney Bay. The flooding of the settlements downstream was colossal. Since then, the dam has been strengthened and built up several times, so now, despite the huge amount of rainfall, history should not repeat itself.
As noted by the head of the Australian Insurers' Council Andrew Hall (Andrew Hall), the total damage from the downpours has yet to be assessed. And he talked about the material, but in fact, one should not forget the psychological. Many local residents, from whom the media took comments, more than once characterized the situation as a “breaking point”. And they can be understood: for the past two years, the southeast of the country has been continuously experiencing one crisis after another.
First, at the turn of 2019-2020, the region was fighting anomalous forest fires. Their consequences are still felt, and the damage to biodiversity was completely catastrophic: more than a billion vertebrates died. Then the coronavirus came along with some of the toughest quarantine regimes among developed countries. The end of last year was again marked by fires, albeit not as strong as last time. Showers have now hit New South Wales, exacerbating earlier problems.