The unprecedented fire season in Australia got some relief after heavy rain recorded on Friday. The country that is burning for months is seeing some hopes after the downpour. Since September, more than 10 million hectares have been burnt and killed 33 people due to devastating fires. An estimated billion animals ended their lives in the flames. The fires erupted by prolonged drought and record-breaking temperatures.
Authorities have welcomed the downpour but warned of flash flooding in Sydney and other cities along the coast. The Bureau of Meteorology said a few of the affected areas had received the most rain recorded over a year. Today, Australia’s largest city, Sydney, recorded its wettest day in over 15 months. “It was fantastic to wake up to much-needed rain this morning!” tweeted the city’s lord mayor Clover Moore.
The rain started in New South Wales (NSW) is the worst affected state by the crisis. Shane Fitzsimmons, the head of rural firefighters in NSW, said, “It’s breaking the back of this bushfire season, there’s no doubt about it.” No bushfires were left in NSW by Friday afternoon.
NSW Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS) spokeswoman Angela Burford stated, “This is that constant, steady, decent rainfall that we’ve been praying for so long.”
“This isn’t just one of those scattered showers we saw a month ago. This is really helping our firefighters, and in some places, giving them a well-needed rest,” she added. Fire officials in NSW declared themselves “over the moon” in the rain.
The holiday town of Byron Bay in northern NSW recorded over 280 mm of rain. As per local people, the downburst on Thursday night was more massive than that experienced in a 2017 cyclone.
The rescue team recovered many people who were trapped in cars amid rising water. The heavy rains are likely to continue until next week, providing relief to some drought and fire-ravaged zones.