Amid new deluge, Sydney tops annual average rainfall in 3 months
Workers clear a closed lane after a landslide on Lawrence Hargrave Drive at Seacliff Bridge in Coalcliff, south of Sydney. A flood warning has been issued for several flooded river catchments across New South Wales, with heavy rain and thunderstorms forecast for the coming days. Dean Lewins/AAP/dpa
Workers clear a closed lane after a landslide on Lawrence Hargrave Drive at Seacliff Bridge in Coalcliff, south of Sydney. A flood warning has been issued for several flooded river catchments across New South Wales, with heavy rain and thunderstorms forecast for the coming days. Dean Lewins/AAP/dpa

A month after Australia's east coast was hit by severe flooding, parts of the city of Sydney were pummelled by heavy rain on Thursday.

The situation was especially dangerous in the southern suburbs of Woronora and Bonnet Bay, where authorities told thousands of people to leave their homes and get to safety.

Sydney has already reached its annual average rainfall in the first three months of 2022, a spokesperson from the Bureau of Meteorology told broadcaster 7News.

The deluge is expected to ease somewhat over the weekend, with heavy rainfall forecast again from Tuesday.

"The ground is saturated, rivers are full, the dams are at capacity," Dean Story from the New South Wales State Emergency Service said.

Authorities warned of unstable grounds and potential landslides.

Days of rain in February and March caused historic flooding in Australia's east, with the northern part of New South Wales state and neighbouring southern Queensland hit hardest.

More than 20 people died in the extreme weather, which also destroyed many homes and structures.

At the time, Sydney saw two and a half weeks of almost continuous rain. Meteorologists said at the time it was the wettest start to the year in Sydney since weather records began in 1858.

Australia is particularly affected by extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change. In mid-January, large parts of the country were still sweltering under a heatwave, with temperatures of more than 50 degrees Celsius recorded in the west of the country.

Workers clear a closed lane after a landslide on Lawrence Hargrave Drive at Seacliff Bridge in Coalcliff, south of Sydney. A flood warning has been issued for several flooded river catchments across New South Wales, with heavy rain and thunderstorms forecast for the coming days. Dean Lewins/AAP/dpa
A woman takes shelter from the rain under an umbrella in Parramatta, Sydney. Bianca De Marchi/AAP/dpa