Heavy rains, high tides, powerful winds SLAM Australia’s east coast

A 1,000 kilometer stretch of the Australia’s vast coast is being hit with torrential rains and high tides. Tides up to 8 metre were recorded eroding the shoreline in some areas, including Byron Bay.

More than 2,000 cities including Brisbane and the Gold Coast suffered a power outage after strong winds struck power lines on Monday.

Emergency services said they had received over 700 calls for help since Sunday. About half a dozen people stranded in floodwaters had been rescued, they added.

Meteorologists have warned that this Australian summer will see the impacts of a La Niña weather pattern, which typically brings more rainfall and tropical cyclones.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology issued severe weather warnings for a vast coastal area stretching from Hervey Bay in Queensland to Taree in New South Wales.

Affected areas have been alerted to damaging winds, flash flooding and hazardous surf. Some places have already received more than 400 millimeter of rain within 24 hours.

“At this stage, the widespread heavy rainfall is expected to ease late Tuesday or early Wednesday,” the bureau said.

Previous severe flooding events of 2010 and 1998 in Queensland were also associated with La Niña.

Disappearing Shoreline:

Australia’s famous Byron Bay’s Main Beach has disappeared, as extreme weather batters Australia’s east coast, officials say.

The Main Beach is popular among tourists and it had already previously depleted due to erosion.

Simon Richardson, the mayor said “severe weather” and “massive swells” were smashing what was left. “We’re watching our beach disappear,” he said.