Rainfall in Australia has led to the worst flooding in decades. Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks of the flood of the century. The most populous state in New South Wales, with Sydney as its capital, has been particularly hard hit. Esther Blank, a journalist from Sydney, reports on the current situation.
Esther Blanc works as a freelance journalist for various media companies, including NZZ and Focus. He has lived in Sydney, Australia since 1994.
SRF News: What is the current situation in the disaster area?
This time it was pure flooding. Heavy rain in front of the house sometimes looks like a waterfall. Rivers inhabited in the suburbs of Sydney and throughout New South Wales are still rising rapidly. Someone is talking about the flood of this century. In the Port Macquarie area, for example, some places received nearly 900 liters of rain per square meter in six days.
Surprisingly, however, there have been no official deaths to date. Is there an explanation?
Australians are used to extreme weather conditions and disasters to be dealt with. Civil defense starts automatically with thousands of volunteers when disaster strikes. Australians are very accustomed to taking care of their neighbors so as not to forget anyone when a flood or fire comes. They were able to train all of this during this year’s and last year’s terrible bushfire, which has now precisely hit these affected communities again.
Now the flood of the century is being talked about. You said that civil defense works well. Can you tell me more: Have you been lucky so far?
Yes definitely. People take care of their neighbors and try to save people. Not just people: Exhausted animals like horses or cows are pulled out of the water everywhere. Even in cities that actually have nothing to do with agriculture.
The floods will not stop and they will get worse.
But of course it cannot be expected to continue like this. The Prime Minister of New South Wales said it is badly expected as the two weather systems will come together in the next few days. Then it gets worse again. Of course the water has already peaked everywhere and the land is fully saturated. As a result, the flood will not stop and it will get worse.
Interview with Samuel Wise.
“Friend of animals everywhere. Web guru. Organizer. Food geek. Amateur tv fanatic. Coffee trailblazer. Alcohol junkie.”