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Asia Minute

Asia Minute: Record flooding sweeps across eastern Australia

Australia Floods
PTE Hamid Farahani/AP
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AustraliaN Department of Defense
In this photo provided by Australian Department of Defense , an Australian army soldier assists with the flood clean-up efforts in Gatton, Queensland, Sunday, March 6, 2022. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared a national emergency Wednesday, March 9, following floods across large swathes of the east coast. (PTE Hamid Farahani/Australian Department of Defense via AP)

Tens of thousands of people in Australia’s largest city are on the move today. They’re evacuating from flooding that has struck much of the country’s east coast.

The premier of New South Wales says some 40,000 residents have been told to evacuate their homes.

Another 20,000 are on standby.

Some suburbs of Sydney got nearly 8 inches of rain in a single day Monday.

That’s more rain than usually falls around Sydney during the entire month of March.

They started keeping weather records for Sydney in 1859. So far, 2022 has been off to the wettest start to any year so far.

The city has seen 16 consecutive days of rain and it’s been pouring for weeks in other parts of New South Wales and its northern neighbor Queensland.

Swollen rivers have crested and flooded — only to be filled with more rain.

The military has been called out to help.

The situation has deteriorated to the point where Prime Minister Scott Morrison is declaring a national emergency to speed recovery funding to affected communities.

At least 20 people have died in the flooding, most trapped in homes or in cars trying to cross flooded roads.

Forecasters say the latest storm system is expected to move off the coast by Thursday, but warned that the flooding may linger.

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