Australia’s flood causes damage across Melbourne

Image copyright Rex Features Image caption The major flood in Australia is expected to affect the major cities in eastern Victoria

The major flood in Australia is expected to affect the major cities in eastern Victoria, and follow similar events that hit the country over the weekend.

We will be bringing you more from Australia, and the impact of the floods, throughout the day.

Much of the state is under water, with 300mm of rain recorded in some areas.

The United Nations has declared the event a “major disaster”.

Image copyright EPA Image caption Trains and planes have been diverted due to the floods

Relief is on the way, however, with the closure of the Melbourne harbour bridge to prevent further damage.

Stranded tourists are being ferried to safety, and Australia’s Education Minister has said clean-up efforts were underway.

On Saturday and Sunday, people in the city of Yarraville were forced to evacuate as a flash flood swamped their homes.

The Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Graham Ashton, said the worst weather was to come, and urged residents to seek higher ground.

See BBC News’s coverage of the flooding across Australia here.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Boats protect vehicles from rising waters in Richmond, Australia, on Wednesday

Photo caption A helicopter search continues for missing Victorian teenager Grace MacColl (circled). Image caption Firefighters search for Australia’s most wanted man Justin Hemmes, 42 (circled). Image caption Missing Sophie Elliott (circled) may have been swept over a dam wall by flash floods

The flooding could be the biggest disaster in the state since February 1861, when 250,000 people had to evacuate Melbourne.

The flood peaked on Sunday afternoon, and was expected to cause at least $200m in damages, but Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said that the cost could be as high as $1bn.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A woman wades through the floodwaters in Melbourne on Wednesday

The heatwave that followed this week also resulted in a spate of deaths.

President of the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Julian Peden, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that two women aged in their 60s had died after suffering heatstroke earlier this week.

Photo caption Heatwaves kill more Australians than bushfires and floods combined

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