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Asia Minute: Extreme flooding is a tale of two cities in the Indo-Pacific

APTOPIX Australia Floods
Mark Baker/AP
People paddle through a flooded street at Windsor on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

This has been a week of extreme weather in several parts of the world. That includes the Indo-Pacific — where two cities at opposite ends of the region have been dealing with severe flooding.

Mumbai, India and Sydney, Australia have both been hit with relentless rain recently — which has swept into floods and disrupted the lives of millions of people.

In Mumbai, this is seasonal.

It’s time for the annual monsoon rains that drench India — the precise timing differs for various parts of the country, but overall, the season is generally considered to be June through September.

The India Meteorological Department says large areas of Western and Central India receive more than 90% of their annual rain during monsoon season.

That includes Mumbai — on India’s west coast — where this week commuter trains have been stalled, traffic has been snarled, and heavy rains are expected for at least the next two days.

On Australia’s southeast coast, the Sydney Morning Herald reports residents “headed into clean-up mode” Thursday morning — as heavy rains moved north.

Since Friday, some areas near Sydney have been swamped with nearly 28 inches of rain.

The Washington Post says that’s as much precipitation as London sees in a year.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports some 43,000 people are still affected by evacuation orders — while rivers around Sydney have started to recede.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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