Man dies after being pulled from river as thousands evacuated from devastating Sydney floods

Sydney currently has 18 evacuation orders in place with over 30,000 people told to leave their homes

Stuti Mishra
Monday 04 July 2022 13:40 BST
Australia floods

A man died after being rescued in an unresponsive state from an overflowing river in western Sydney after torrential downpours caused “life-threatening” floodwaters to rise in many areas in the New South Wales (NSW) state.

A chaotic evacuation drive has continued amid the massive floods that have forced thousands to flee their homes.

The man, whose identity has not been revealed, was rescued from the raging river on Sunday afternoon by emergency services but could not survive.

“We saw a helicopter out there with essentially a team of police jumping into the water, trying to save someone,” witness Luke Touma told 7NEWS.

Earlier, another man was reportedly killed after falling out of a kayak on the Parramatta river near near Canada Bay on Sunday as emergency officials struggled to revive him. Officials, however, have not linked this death to the weather yet.

Sydney currently has 18 evacuation orders in place with over 30,000 people told to leave their houses as NSW witnesses yet another devastating flood this year after witnessing them in March and in April as well, in which the city received a month’s rain in a single night.

Certain areas are entirely cut off as roads remain inundated. People have been told to avoid any non-essential travel, including using public transport.

Flooding occurred after heavy rainfall and rapid dam spillages led to rivers rising at alarming rates and shattering inundation records.

Authorities are warning that the situation this time could be a lot worse and asking people to not wait for evacuation orders if they have an option to leave safely.

“If you were safe in 2021 do not assume you will be safe tonight. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we could see areas impacted that we haven’t seen before,” said Steph Cooke, the state’s emergency services minister.

MsCooke said the Warragamba Dam was spilling at a rate of over 500 gigalitres a day – a volume greater than during the floods in March and April this year, which inundated large swathes of the state.

Experts said the frequent flooding in NSW and its increasing intensity has been worsened by the climate crisis and a La Niña weather phenomenon.

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