The heavy rains that have been lashing Southeast Australia for the past few days have started to subside since Saturday. But police said one person died in the flood they caused.
A 71-year-old man was found ‘dead in floodwater at the back’ of his property in Rochester, a small town north of Melbourne, local police said, adding that the exact circumstances of the death remained to be determined.
Floods inundated cars and submerged homes in three states in southeastern Australia, with suburbs of Melbourne hard hit.
On Saturday, as the rain subsided, residents of the affected areas waded through muddy streets littered with all manner of debris and wrecked cars. Evacuation orders are in place for dozens of locations.
“It’s serious, it’s very dangerous,” Victorian Premier Dan Andrews warned.
Australia’s east coast has been hit by a series of extreme weather events over the past two years.
In March, the region was hit hard by severe floods that claimed 20 lives. In July, thousands of Sydney residents were forced to flee their homes due to heavy rain.
Australia is at the forefront of the effects of climate change, with floods, bushfires, cyclones and droughts becoming more frequent and intense as the planet warms, scientists warn.
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