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Thousands evacuated in Australia as Debbie triggers major flooding

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Staff Writer | March 30, 2017
Thousands of residents in eastern Australia were forced to evacuate on Thursday as excessive rainfall from former Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie triggered major flooding.
Debbie flooding
Weather   On Wednesday night into Thursday night
Much of eastern Queensland endured the wrath of Debbie following landfall near Airlie Beach around midday Tuesday.

On Wednesday night into Thursday night, local time, Debbie's torrential rain focused on southeastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales, triggering major flooding.

Thousands of residents in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales have been ordered to evacuate due to the flooding, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

A total of 423 mm (16.65 inches) of rain inundated Murwillumbah in far northeastern New South Wales in the 24 hours ending Thursday afternoon, the Bureau of Meteorology reported.

The Tweed River rapidly rose more than 4 meters (13 feet) to major flood stage.

Officials have performed about 30 flood rescues in northern New South Wales since late Wednesday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

As of Thursday evening, major flooding was also occurring along numerous rivers across southeastern Queensland.