A street sign for Traralgon is partially submerged in Tinamba, eastern Victoria, Australia, 05 October 2023. EFE/EPA/JAMES ROSS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

Thousands ordered to evacuate due to flooding in Australia

Sydney, Australia, Oct 5 (EFE).- Australian authorities ordered the evacuation of thousands of residents in the southeast of the country due to the risk of devastating floods, just days after the area was affected by bushfires.

Flood water near a residential property in Tinamba, eastern Victoria, Australia, 05 October 2023. EFE/EPA/JAMES ROSS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

Flood water near a residential property in Tinamba, eastern Victoria, Australia, 05 October 2023. EFE/EPA/JAMES ROSS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

The order, issued Wednesday night and which remained in force Thursday, applies to Bellbird Corner, Mewburn Park, Newry, Riverslea, Tinamba and Tinamba West, in the east of Victoria and more than 200 kilometers east of state capital Melbourne.

In these rural towns, roads have been closed and farmers are seeking to move livestock to higher ground since in many locations the waters have flooded vast residential and crop areas, according to images released by the country’s media.

“If you have not already evacuated, stay where you are and shelter in the highest location possible,” warned Victoria Emergency service, which also urged residents to remain attentive to warnings about potential floods in the eastern region, which just days ago was affected by two bushfires.

Dan O'Connor (L) stands on a makeshift levee outside his property in Tinamba, eastern Victoria, Australia, 05 October 2023. EFE/EPA/JAMES ROSS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

Dan O’Connor (L) stands on a makeshift levee outside his property in Tinamba, eastern Victoria, Australia, 05 October 2023. EFE/EPA/JAMES ROSS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

These fires in Gippsland, which required the deployment of about 700 firefighters, razed a house and about 175 square kilometers of land, before the fires were put out by rain.

On Thursday, MP Darren Chester, who represents the Gippsland seat in parliament, told public broadcaster ABC that this area has been hit three times without respite by “bushfires on the weekend and that rain event over the last 48 hours, and now the wind is blowing severely across the region.”

Meanwhile, in the neighboring state of New South Wales, some 700 firefighters are battling about 60 bushfires, half of them uncontained, which have destroyed at least four homes in the Bega Valley.

Australia, which experienced a Black Summer of fires during 2019-2020 in which 33 people died, is expected to face drier than usual weather this year due to El Niño, the warm phase of a climate pattern across the tropical Pacific. EFE

wat/tw