Heavy Rains Submerges Australian East Coast Again

Australian residents have been issued evacuation orders for the second time in weeks after heavy rain burst river banks and lashed the east coast when thousands of its residents are still homeless after earlier flooding.

Several towns in northern New South Wales, already struggling after record floods over a month ago, took a month’s worth of rain in just six hours, officials said.

“Unfortunately overnight, our worst fears have been realized with significantly heavy rainfall across saturated landscapes,” New South Wales emergency services minister Stephanie Cooke said.

Streets in the well-known tourist spot Byron Bay, about 465 miles north of Sydney, were inundated.

“It’s devastating,” Annick Nuylle, a Byron Bay store owner said. “I’ve put many years and a lot of love and hard work… it’s my livelihood and it has been my life for 17 years, so it’s very sad.”

After tens of thousands fled their homes during the first wave of downpours, Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared a national emergency, giving the government more powers to deploy aid and defense force personnel. 

Last month, Morrison acknowledged that the climate-related disasters are making Australia a more difficult place to live.

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