Sydney, Feb 10 (IANS) Sydney has been hit by the heaviest rains in three decades after a storm caused flooding along Australia’s east coast, but in the process extinguished a number of bushfires that have been raging for months.
On Monday, the Bureau of Meteorology said that in the last four days, 391.6 mm of rain have fallen in the city, the most since February 1990 when 414.2 mm of rainfall were recorded, and warned of more rainfall in coming days, reports Efe news.
The agency issued various alerts for risk of flooding and flooding along rivers, and the coast of the New South Wales (NSW) state, whose capital is Sydney, and also for possible damage along the coast due to abnormally large swells and high tides.
Some 79,000 residents are without power across the state, power company Ausgrid said in a post on Twitter accompanied by a photo of a fallen tree on power lines.
“Ausgrid is bringing in additional crews from across NSW to help restore power as quickly as possible following the weekend’s damaging, torrential rain,” the company said in another tweet.
On the brighter side, the rains have helped firefighters, battle a series of fires that have been raging in southeastern Australia since September, with more than 30 hotspots extinguished since Friday in New South Wales alone.
“This is the most positive news we’ve had in some time. The recent rainfall has assisted firefighters to put over 30 fires out since Friday (February 7). Some of the blazes have been burning for weeks and even months,” the NSW Rural Fire Service said on Twitter.
Almost 1.5 million hectares of land have been burned by the fires in the state.
One of these is the Currowan Fire, burning 200 km south of Sydney and 90 km east of Canberra, where it remained active for 74 days, burned nearly half a million hectares, destroyed 312 houses and damaged another 173.
Since September 2019, bushfires raging in the country have claimed the lives of 33 people and razed about 180,000 square km, an area larger than the size of Uruguay and Cambodia.