Residents in rural Australia evacuate homes as floods follow fires

Residents in rural Australia evacuate homes as floods follow fires
A herd of cattle grazes next to burned down paddocks near Coolagolite, NSW, Australia, 4 October 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE/LUKAS COCH)

SYDNEY, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Residents of towns in the Australian state of Victoria were on Thursday warned it was still unsafe to return home, as flash floods followed bushfires that also forced people to flee.

People in several towns along the Macalister River in the southeastern state were told to evacuate late on Wednesday after waters rose to dangerously high levels.

Authorities warned those remaining may lose power, water, sewerage and phone networks due to flooding.

Rains eased on Thursday, though disaster management officials said large amounts of water still needed to be flushed through the river systems.

Victoria State Emergency Service deputy chief officer David Baker said around 130 homes had been impacted by flooding, that came days after unseasonably high temperatures led to bushfires in the same region.

“The good news is (there is) no more serious rain expected,” he told state broadcaster ABC.

“What we’re dealing with now is what’s currently in the river systems that will need to flush itself through.”

Emergency warnings urging evacuated residents not to return remain in place for several towns in the area.

(Reporting by Alasdair Pal in Sydney; Editing by Josie Kao)


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