Canberra, 8 Mar (ONA) --- Two more people died and 40,000 were told to evacuate in New South Wales as the eastern Australian state kept being battered by torrential rains today.
The flood crisis has now claimed seven lives in the state after a 67-year-old woman and her 34-year-old son were found in floodwaters in western Sydney today, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said.
The premier said 40,000 people were under evacuation orders in the state, with two thirds of those orders in suburbs around Greater Sydney.
At least 13 more people died in neighbouring Queensland in floods there, news agency AAP reported.
There were multiple flood warnings for vast portions of NSW and many roads, bridges and schools were closed.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) today issued a severe thunderstorm warning for intense rainfall "that will lead to life threatening flash flooding and possible landslides for parts of northeast Sydney."
"It's tomorrow that things get quite concerning," BoM's Sarah Scully said in an afternoon update, saying that tomorrow Wednesday would be the "big storm outbreak day."
"These storms have the potential to be quite dangerous, we are forecasting heavy to intense rainfall, locally-destructive winds and giant-sized hail, that's hail with a diameter of 5 centimetres or greater," Scully said.
Sydney has endured 16 consecutive days of nearly uninterrupted rain, with no forecast of sun until at least Thursday.
The extreme weather was triggered by a slow-moving low-pressure system.
Australia is particularly affected by climate change. In mid-January, large parts of the country were still sweltering under a merciless heatwave, with temperatures of more than 50 degrees Celsius recorded in the west of the country.