Australia’s biggest city is cleaning up after it was hit with a month’s worth of rain in five days early in July.
Coming on top of the wettest-ever start to the year, which had left the ground saturated and dams at or near capacity, the rain caused extensive floods and left some parts of the city under more than a metre (3ft) of brown, swirling water.
Many Sydney residents had also only just finished cleaning up following the previous deluge four months ago. Experts say the situation will only get worse as more developments are built.
Jamie Pittock, a professor in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University, says state governments should have prevented construction in flood-prone areas.
“New South Wales governments have known since 1817 that this was a highly dangerous flood-prone place, yet have allowed further development in harm’s way,” he said.