Image copyright TERRIGAL FIRE STATION/ANTHONY PARRY Image caption Days of high tide have eroded Warambel Beach north of Sydney Huge waves have pummelled the Australian state of New South Wales, eroding some coastal areas and putting homes at risk of collapse. In beach suburbs to the north of Sydney, residents lost decks and fences as
Huge waves have pummelled the Australian state of New South Wales, eroding some coastal areas and putting homes at risk of collapse.
In beach suburbs to the north of Sydney, residents lost decks and fences as the surf lapped at the edge of properties.
Authorities say they have recorded waves as high as 11m (36ft) this week off the city’s coastline.
The wild surf has been caused by a strong low pressure system.
On Friday, the Bureau of Meteorology (Bom) re-issued a “hazardous” surf warning for the state’s entire 2,100km (1,300-mile) coastline.
It advised people to stay away from the water, and warned against swimming, boating and rock fishing in the conditions.
The biggest waves have been about four times the size of an average wave at this time of the year, said Weatherzone, a meteorology company.
In the suburb of Warambel, an hour’s north drive of Sydney, residents were evacuating beachfront homes at risk of collapse.
Pictures showed the tide had carved out some soil under houses, leaving foundations exposed.
“We’re anxious and and frightened and vulnerable and quite frankly, angry, we’ve come to this situation,” one resident, Margaret Bryce, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
She said locals had in previous years called for a break wall to be built as they experienced higher tides.
“The wall was not built. People are devastated we have lost our pristine beach.”
In 2016, a storm surge caused severe damage to beachfront homes along the Collaroy plateau in northern Sydney.
In its 2018 State of the Climate report, the Bom said that sea levels had been rising around Australia due to warming ocean temperatures.
It noted climate change had also led to an increase in extreme weather events such higher-than-normal rainfall and powerful storm surges.
“As climate change continues, the combination of increases in heavy rainfall and rising sea levels means that coastal and estuarine environments may have an increase in flood risk from multiple causes,” the bureau said in its report.