‘Severe’ warning issued for Australia with heavy rain

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Residents in Australia’s southeast have been warned to stay prepared for massive rainfall and major flooding over the next few days. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has issued a severe warning of significant rain, wind, and widespread flooding forecast in Tasmania. 

Victoria, home to Melbourne, is expected to be the worst-hit state with authorities urging residents in remote regional areas to stock essential supplies for at least three days as they fear rapidly rising waters could cut off entire towns.

The BOM stated: “Northern Tasmania is forecast to see around 60 – 100 mm with falls of 180 mm possible for the northeast highlands, and up to 250 mm or more about the Western Tiers.

“The south-west of Tasmania will see around 30 – 60 mm and the south-east including Hobart around 15-30 mm.

“The band of rain is expected to clear to the east early on Friday morning, followed by lighter showers extending over the state and possible afternoon thunderstorms.

“Widespread significant flooding is expected from Thursday and into the weekend. 

“Major flooding is possible in parts of the Forth, North Esk, Mersey, lower Macquarie and Meander rivers and the river Ouse (in the Derwent catchment).”

Emergency Management Victoria Deputy Commissioner Chris Stephenson said Victorians in flood-risk areas need to prepare “for up to 72 hours of isolation”.

He told news.com.au: “That includes making sure it’s not just yourself, but your neighbours – that you’ve got provisions for your pets, you’ve got your medication available.”

Melbourne is also expected to be hit by heavy rain on Thursday with a risk of flash flooding in some areas.

The BOM added: “The moisture from this event is coming from the Indian Ocean to the northwest and from the Coral Sea to the northeast, down to as far south as Tasmania by a cold front ahead of a low south of the Bight.

“The Bureau continues to monitor the situation closely and updates forecasts and warnings regularly.

“Residents and communities living on or near any rivers, creeks and streams or in low lying areas, are advised to stay up to date with the latest forecast and warnings.”

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Sky News Meteorologist Alison Osborne said rainfall records could be broken in the state’s second biggest city, Launceston.

She said: “Isolated falls of up to 200mm cannot be ruled out over northern parts of Tasmania, which could cause particularly dangerous flash flooding and rain records could be broken for October in towns like Launceston.”

Meanwhile, a body, believed to be that of a missing man, was found in a vehicle submerged in flood waters in the state’s central west region, police said late on Tuesday.

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