Heavy rain in Sydney, Australia's largest city, has caused flooding and evacuation of thousands of people.

Iran PressAsia: Torrential rains kept battering Australia's east coast on Tuesday, intensifying the flood crisis in Sydney as thousands more residents were ordered to leave their homes, and about 50,000 residents in New South Wales, most in Sydney's western suburbs, have been told to either evacuate or warned they might receive evacuation orders, up from Monday's 30,000, authorities said after rivers swiftly rose past danger levels.

The risk of flooding could remain through the week, with most river catchments already near capacity even before the latest deluge. Some regions have received 800mm (31.5 inches) of rain since Saturday, eclipsing Australia's annual average rainfall of around 500mm (20 inches), Reuters reported.

The federal government has declared the floods a natural disaster, helping flood-hit residents receive emergency funding support. Meanwhile, social media footage showed submerged roads and bridges.

"This event is far from over," New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet told reporters. "Wherever you are, please be careful when you're driving on our roads. There are still substantial risks for flash flooding."

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who returned to Australia Tuesday after a week-long trip to Europe, said he would tour the affected regions on Wednesday along with Perrottet.

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers warned the economic impact of the floods "will be substantial." Chalmers said that floods have likely inundated several food-producing regions that would hit supplies and lift prices, further straining family budgets already reeling under soaring prices of vegetables and fruits.

The Insurance Council of Australia, which declared the floods a 'significant event,' urged affected people to apply for claims, even though the full extent of damage was unknown now.


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