Authorities called thousands of Sydney residents to evacuate their homes on Sunday amid flooding fears in the suburbs of Australia's largest city.
Roads are blocked, and at least 18 evacuation orders have been issued in the west part of the city. This is an area that was hit hard by March's severe flooding.
Stephanie Cooke, Minister for Emergency Services in New South Wales said that this was a life-threatening emergency. Sydney is the capital.
Australia is especially affected by climate change. It is regularly struck by droughts and devastating forest fires, as well as repeated, more intense floods.
Ms. Cooke warned that more severe weather is expected over the next few days and advised people to be ready to evacuate as soon as possible.
She said that the Warragamba dam started to overflow on Sunday morning, far ahead of forecasts. Camden, a suburb in the southwest of Sydney that is home to over 100,000 people, was already inundated with shops and a petrol station.
In the last 24 hours, emergency services have assisted 29 people and been called over 1,400 times. Flooding caused by severe storms in March decimated Western Sydney, claiming 20 lives.
Scientists say that as the planet heats, more water vapour is in the atmosphere, which increases the likelihood of heavy rain events. Flooding is promoted by these rains and other factors, including land development.