Australia declares a national emergency due to flooding in the east of the country

SYDNEY (Australia), March 9 Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared a national emergency on Wednesday due to floods that hit the country’s east coast, which killed 21 people and caused millions of material damage. This is the first time the country has declared a national emergency as a result of a natural disaster, which was legislated in 2020 after a series of devastating fires, “due to severe storms and flooding in (regions) of New South Wales and Queensland,” Morrison said at a press conference. Today, Morrison went to the town of Lismore, one of the worst-affected areas of the disaster, located about 600 kilometers north of Sydney, where he was received by a group of protesters who complained about the slow response of the authorities. This declaration – which must receive formal approval from the Australian Governor-General, David Hurley – will allow Australian authorities to use their emergency powers to access available resources more quickly in order to help areas devastated by the disaster. Two weeks ago, Australia’s east coast experienced torrential rains that caused severe flooding and flash floods, which claimed eight lives in New South Wales and thirteen in Queensland. Morrison, who today announced more financial aid and extended benefits for victims, emphasized that he understands the indignation and protests of many Lismore residents because they have had to face an “once every five hundred years” event. Meanwhile, in Sydney, several towns in the west of the city are still at the mercy of flooding, while residents of the northern beaches are recovering from the very strong streams of water that swept streets and highways yesterday like rivers and their subsequent landslides. Earth. During this day, winds of up to 90 km are expected in Sydney, which could cause trees to fall in this city, where 900 mm of rain fell since the beginning of the year, the highest volume since the 1950s. The government of Australia, which has paid grants to about 330,000 people affected by the floods, has deployed about 4,400 troops to New South Wales and Queensland for clean-up and reconstruction, according to military sources. EFE Watt

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