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Sydney floods affect 45,000 people around Australia's largest city

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Sydney (AP) — Hundreds of homes were flooded in and around Australia's largest city in a flood emergency that threatened 45,000 people, officials said Tuesday.

The emergency response team rescued 100 people trapped in cars on flooded roads and flooded homes in the Sydney area overnight, said Ashley Sullivan, state emergency services manager.

Heavy rains flooded dams, waterways broke embankments, and brought a fourth flood emergency to some of the 5 million people's cities since March last year.

The Government of New South Wales has activated federal financial support for flood victims and declared a disaster zone that spans more than 20 municipal areas overnight. did.

Evacuation orders and warnings to prepare for abandoning homes affected 45,000 people as of Tuesday, up from 32,000 on Monday, Sullivan said.

"Weather means that the weather will last at least between today and tomorrow, and the threat will remain with those flood alerts for the rest of the week," Sullivan told Nine Network Television.

A part of southern Sydney was hit by more than 20 centimeters (about 8 inches) of rain in 24 hours. This is more than 17% of the city's annual average, said Jonathan Howe, a meteorologist at the Meteorological Bureau.

On Tuesday, heavy rain warnings continued in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. The warning also extended to the Hunter Valley along the north coast of Sydney.

The worst floods were along the Hawkesbury-Nepian River system along the north and west fringes of Sydney.

"The good news is that by tomorrow afternoon it looks almost dry, but of course people say that these floods remain very high even after the rain stops. "Reminds me," Howe said.

"It rained a lot overnight, and it actually sees some rivers peak again, so to see these floods begin to recede. It can take days, if not a week, "how added.

Stormy weather and mountainous waters along the New South Wales coast hampered plans to tow a damaged cargo ship with a crew of 21 for the safety of the open ocean.

The ship lost power after leaving the port of Wollongong in southern Sydney on Monday morning, with an 8 meter (26 ft) swell and a 30 knot wind blowing to ground. There was a danger of (34 mph) against the cliff.

Attempts to tow a vessel into the open ocean with a tugboat ended when the towing line broke at the end of Monday, said Philip Holiday, Chief Executive Officer of the Port Authority.

The ship maintained its position farther from the coast on Tuesday with the help of two anchors and two tugs. The new plan was to tow the ship to Sydney when weather and sea conditions settled as early as Wednesday, Holiday said. The original plan was for the ship's crew to repair the engine at sea.

"We are in a better position than yesterday," Holiday said. "We are relatively safe."