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Hundreds forced to leave their homes and 38 saved from floods in Southeast Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia—Hundreds of people were ordered to evacuate their homes on Monday after flooding inundated parts of Victoria state, as wild weather continues to batter Australia’s southeast.

The issue was ordered for badly hit areas in the small towns of Seymour and Yea, about 70 miles north of Melbourne. Authorities told residents and tourists to leave immediately as floodwaters rose to dangerous levels.

Multiple flood and thunderstorm warnings were in place across Victoria with the deluge filling streets with water. Authorities rescued 38 people from flooding and almost 1,000 calls were made for help, Victoria State of Emergency Services said.

Rainfall in the northeast of Victoria was expected to reach more than 200 millimeters (7.88 inches). Authorities warned that flooding above the floor level of a single-story house was likely, and access to key roads would be difficult.

The area is popular with vacationers.

“If you live in a flood-prone area, please make the necessary plans. Especially people living in caravan parks and camping along creeks and other waterways,” Victoria emergency management commissioner Rick Nugent said. “Falling tree branches and flash floods are the highest risk. Please don’t drive through flood waters.”

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There have also been reports of contamination in the local water supply system in the southeast of Victoria. Authorities warn that drinking un-boiled tap water could lead to stomach problems.

Melbourne has been spared the worst of the weather but has received a large amount of rainfall.

The states of South Australia and New South Wales are also bracing for storms as the country’s populous east coast continues to be hit by bad weather.

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