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Thousands more flee as Sydney floods track north

Since the floods began, emergency services have issued more than 100 evacuation orders

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Thousands more flee as Sydney floods track north
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Sydney: Thousands of people on Australia’s east coast fled their homes Wednesday as torrential rains tracked north after unleashing floods in Sydney that submerged communities, roads, and bridges under mud-brown water.

New South Wales authorities issued fresh flood alerts north of Australia’s largest city and warned that rising, rain-swollen rivers still posed a danger in parts of Sydney despite easing rainfall in the city.

“This event is far from over,” the state’s Premier Dominic Perrottet said.

Since the floods began over the weekend, emergency services have issued more than 100 evacuation orders.

A total 85,000 people have been told to leave their homes immediately or be ready to depart imminently so they will not be stranded by rising floodwaters.

Across Sydney’s western fringe, rivers broke their banks and large areas have been transformed into inland lakes, with mud-brown waters invading homes while cutting off roads and bridges.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited the affected area Wednesday, promising to look for “long-term solutions” after multiple flooding disasters across Australia’s east coast in the past 18 months.

‘Floods, bushfires’

Albanese said that while “Australia has always been subject of floods, of bushfires”, scientists have warned climate change would make such events more frequent and intense.

“What we are seeing, unfortunately, is that play out,” he said.

There were 21 flood rescues across New South Wales overnight, and on Wednesday more than 1,000 emergency service workers were in the field.

The federal government has declared a natural disaster in 23 flooded parts of the state, unlocking relief payments to stricken residents.

Many people affected have lived through successive east coast floods that struck in 2021 and then again in March this year when more than 20 people were killed.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said the weather system was expected to move off coast later this week.

Andrew Hall, chief executive of the Insurance Council of Australia, said he expected the Sydney floods would be declared a “catastrophe” by the insurance industry.

He said 2,700 insurance claims have been lodged by Tuesday from Sydney alone, and more were anticipated as people were able to return to their homes.

Hall said there had been Aus$5 billion ($3.4 billion) in catastrophe claims made in Australia this year.

It was “untenable” for homes that had flooded four times in the past 18 months to remain in the insurance pool, Hall said, adding: “We’ve got to stand back and ask the question, ‘Have we built homes in the wrong spot?’”

SOURCE: AFP

Pakistan

PM emphasizes sustained high-level Pak-EU exchanges for stronger partnership

"Pakistan attached high importance to its relations with the EU as well as its historically close and cooperative bilateral ties with EU member states"

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PM emphasizes sustained high-level Pak-EU exchanges for stronger partnership

Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said the sustained high-level exchanges between Pakistan and the European Union was vital to further strengthen the growing partnership.

The prime minister, in a meeting with the newly appointed Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan Dr. Riina Kionka who called on him here, said that Pakistan attached high importance to its relations with the EU as well as its historically close and cooperative bilateral ties with EU member states.

Recalling his recent telephone conversations with the EU Council President Charles Michel and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the prime minister expressed confidence that the upcoming visits to Pakistan by the EU Parliamentary delegations as well as the next rounds of political and security dialogues under EU-Pakistan Strategic Engagement Plan would pave the way for more substantive cooperation between the two sides.

He credited the current GSP Plus scheme with enhancing the mutually beneficial trading ties between Pakistan and EU and hoped that Pakistan would continue to be part of the arrangement beyond 2023.

Noting the 60th anniversary of Pakistan-EU relations this year, the prime minister stressed that this milestone should be commemorated by both sides in a fitting manner. 

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stressed the importance of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. He also highlighted the unprecedented level of cooperation that Pakistan had extended to the international community in regard to Afghanistan, especially since the developments of August last year.

Dr. Riina Kionka thanked the prime minister for receiving her and expressed her resolve to work for further deepening of EU-Pakistan relations during her tenure in Islamabad.

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NDMA provides relief items to flood-hit areas of Balochistan

The NDMA also provided 117 dewatering pumps for drainage of accumulated rain and floodwater from the localities.

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NDMA provides relief items to flood-hit areas of Balochistan

Islamabad: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Thursday continued to provide relief items to flood affected areas of the country especially Balochistan.

The NDMA ensured emergency assistance to the flood victims including ration and other necessary equipment, a news release said.

The relief equipment provided by the Authority included provision of ration packs for over 40,000 people, tents, mosquito nets, and blankets for the accommodation of 60,000 victims, it said.

The NDMA also provided 117 dewatering pumps for drainage of accumulated rain and floodwater from the localities.

However, during the emergency aid dispatch most of the aid was given to the affected areas of Balochistan.

Moreover, 60,000 liters of drinking water was also provided to flood victims in Balochistan alongwith other aid items including kitchen sets, hygiene kits and chemical spray machines.

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Pakistan

Rana Sanaullah departs for Saudi Arabia on five-day visit

The minister would also talk with Saudi officials to further strengthen Pak-Saudi bilateral relations.

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Rana Sanaullah departs for Saudi Arabia on five-day visit

Islamabad: Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah along with his family on Thursday departed for Saudi Arabia on five-day visit to perform Umrah.

The minister departed for Jeddah from Islamabad International Airport at 11 a.m, said a statement issued here.

The minister would perform Umrah besides attendance at Roza Rasool (PBUH) in Madina. Sanaullah would also hold meetings with his Saudi counterpart and other senior officials.

The minister would also talk with Saudi officials to further strengthen Pak-Saudi bilateral relations.

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