Canberra: Rising flood levels have put hundreds of people in trouble, as dozens of towns were isolated in Australia's most populous state New South Wales.
Thousands were forced to leave their homes as record rain continues to inundate the country's east coast.
Around 18,000 people had been evacuated in New South Wales by Monday and emergency services estimated that up to 54,000 people could have been displaced. The rain is forecast to continue until Wednesday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison informed Parliament that 35 communities in northern New South Wales had been isolated and emergency services had been pressed into service for more than 700 flood rescues.
"We are grateful at this point that no lives have been lost so far," Morrison said. But weakened foundations for buildings, for roads and trees, all create risk, as do downed power lines and rising water levels.
A year ago, vast swathes of New South Wales had been charred by unprecedented wildfires following years of drought that gripped most of the state.
Some of the same areas were now being by inundated by rains that are rated as one-in-50-year and one-in-100-year events.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said up to 38 parts of the state had been declared natural disaster areas.
"I don't know any time in our state's history where we have had these extreme weather conditions in such quick succession in the middle of a pandemic," Berejiklian told reporters. "So, they are challenging times for New South Wales."
Thousands of people have been affected with 40 flood warnings and 20 evacuation orders along the state's Mid North Coast, and in western Sydney. Houses had been submerged and destroyed while several communities had lost power.
(With inputs from PTI)