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Hundreds evacuated as floods hit eastern Australia

Emergency services evacuated hundreds of people from an Australian outback town on Sunday after days of flooding in the country's east, officials said.

world Updated: Jan 03, 2010 15:29 IST

Emergency services evacuated hundreds of people from an Australian outback town on Sunday after days of flooding in the country's east, officials said.

Days of heavy rains in New South Wales state over New Year has swollen rivers and left hundreds of farms cut off by floodwaters. Two areas of the state have been declared natural disaster areas.

The damage bill is expected to run into millions of dollars.

Officials were unable to estimate the area currently under water, saying reports were still coming in. Despite the damage, many farmers have welcomed the rains as respite from a long-running drought.

On Sunday, disaster relief officials decided to evacuate more than 400 people in the New South Wales town of Coonamble.

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology has flood warnings for around 10 rivers in the state's north. Several major rivers have burst their banks and the waters are not expected to subside in some areas for days or even weeks.