Thousands of Australians who evacuated their houses for the fear of being wiped out by floods and storm, returned home. Though, not everyone is lucky, those dwelling downstream are still vulnerable, hence not allowed to go back.
A heavy storm struck Australia’s east coast causing worst flooding in the winemaking Hunter Valley for 30 years.
While residents of Maitland, in the wine-growing Hunter Valley region returned home, thousands in the coastal city of Newcastle brace for the imminent deluge. Authorities are trying to evacuate people from the vulnerable areas.
Prime Minister John Howard described the havoc wreaked by the floods as unrecognizable after the region’s worst flooding in decades.
Nine people were killed as the storm pounded the region, cutting off towns and leaving farms isolated in the Hunter Valley.
Five members of a same family were swept away when a section of highway collapsed under their car, plunging them into a swollen creek.
The floods broke many electricity lines disrupting power; leaving around 50,000 homes in the region without electricity. Officials warn it could take days before power is fully restored in the region.
Moreover, people have been advised to avoid floodwaters as the devastation has left many sewage lines spilled.
With the wild seas showing signs of easing, authorities are preparing to refloat Pasha Bulker, whose floating operations were suspended following the storms.
Australian Met department, The Bureau of Meteorology has given clean chit for the cleaning up operations in the region, saying that weather was expected to be relatively calm for the rest of the week.