Days of torrential rains cause deadly flooding in Australia Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows devastating flooding in the aftermath of several days of torrential rainfall in New South Wales, Australia. The region has been hit with the worst flooding it has experienced in decades.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology reports that some areas around Sydney received 16 to 24 inches of rain in four days, and the most extreme totals approached one meter, or 39 inches.
According to NASA, at least 40,000 people were evacuated and several died across New South Wales, while farmers suffered significant crop and livestock losses.
The image was captured on March 23, 2021 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8, and shows severe flooding in the Hawkesbury-Nepean River system around Sydney.
Many of the areas affected by the floods in Australia are still recovering from extreme drought and bushfires in the summer of 2020. The burn-scarred landscapes are less capable of absorbing and holding water.
“Communities who were battered by the bushfires are now being battered by the floods and a deep drought prior to that. I don’t know anytime in our state’s history where we’ve had these extreme weather conditions in such quick succession in the middle of a pandemic,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told the media.
“You’ve been through three or four incidents which are life changing on top of each other. It can make you feel like you are at breaking point.”
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory