According to officials, thousands of Sydney suburb residents were ordered to leave their houses on Sunday as heavy rains prompted flooding to rising and rivers to overflow, creating life-threatening circumstances.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for heavy rain, flash flooding, and gusts of up to 90 kilometers per hour along the coast of Australia's most populated city and other New South Wales states.
Overnight, authorities reported that the Warragamba Dam in western Sydney began to overflow. The peak discharge will be equivalent to the devastation caused by flooding in March of last year.
Several suburbs have been instructed to evacuate. However, Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke stated that people do not have to wait to depart.
"Don't necessarily wait for an evacuation order if you're feeling uncomfortable or uncertain in your current situation and you have the option to leave earlier," she said. "Do not assume you will be safe tonight if you were secure in 2021. This is a quickly evolving issue that could affect previously unaffected regions."
In the past 24 hours, emergency services reported conducting over 100 flood rescues and responding to over 3,000 requests for assistance. Several evacuation facilities have opened in western Sydney.
About 100 members of the Australian Defense Force assisted by erecting sandbags and knocking on doors to warn of impending flooding.
Jane Golding, manager of risk planning and response for the meteorological bureau, reported that a coastal trough has persisted since Friday intensified. At the same time, an east coast low-pressure system developed off the Mid-North Coast.
"This has resulted in unprecedented rainfall rates during the past twenty-four hours... She said that many regions have received up to 200 millimeters of precipitation, and some have received up to 300 millimeters. The amount of rainfall is nearly half the yearly average for Sydney.
People were warned to avoid unnecessary travel, including on public transportation since some roads were already submerged and others were at risk of abrupt flash floods.