Mar 24, 2021 - Science

Australian officials confirm first flood fatality

Partly submerged houses are seen from a helicopter in flood affected areas in the Windsor and Pitt Town areas along the Hawkesbury River on March 24, 2021 in Sydney

Partly submerged houses in flood-affected areas along the Hawkesbury River, Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday. Photo: Lukas Coch/Pool/Getty Images

Australian officials confirmed on Wednesday the first fatality from the country's extreme weather event, after a man's body was found in a car submerged by floodwaters in western Sydney.

The big picture: Millions of people in the states of New South Wales and Queensland's southeast who'd endured heavy rains since last Thursday finally saw sunshine on Wednesday, but the flood threat remains.

  • Flood warnings were issued Wednesday for every state except South Australia and also for the Australian Capital Territory.
  • Some 18,000 people were told to evacuate in New South Wales, and new evacuation orders were issued for western Sydney on Wednesday.

What they're saying: New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters, "What we still have to be aware of is the fact that thousands and thousands of people are still on evacuation warnings, that the rivers will continue to swell."

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison said authorities had made 10,000 disaster recovery payments so far and noted "there is a massive clean-up task" ahead.

Go deeper: Nearly a year's worth of rain fell in 6 days in parts of Australia

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