Sydney Homes Evacuated as Torrential Rain Causes More Flooding

(Bloomberg) -- Thousands of people on the outskirts of Sydney were told to leave their homes or prepare to evacuate as days of torrential rain lead to widespread flooding.

With more bad weather on its way, authorities issued dozens of evacuation orders and warnings in Sydney’s southern, western and northern regions. It’s the fourth major flood in New South Wales state in 18 months and the government on Monday warned the latest inundation may be the biggest yet.

“It’s a very worrying situation and could still get worse,” Australian Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said on Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. Some homes that escaped previous floods may be hit this time, he said.

A series of natural disasters in Australia, including bushfires and droughts, has put national climate policy into sharp relief, and a new Labor government vowing tougher action was elected in May. The floods are also triggering fresh debate over where to house a growing population and the cost of insuring homes prone to damage.