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In photos: Thousands evacuated in Australia as flood threat worsens amid relentless heavy rains

Some 18,000 people have been evacuated and authorities say they plan to evacuate thousands more, as heavy rains and flooding continued to pummel parts of Australia's east coast.

The big picture: Rain has relentlessly fallen on much of New South Wales, including state capital Sydney, and southeast Queensland since last Thursday, triggering flash flooding in many regions. A natural disaster has been declared in 16 areas. Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament Monday, "Rains are expected for at least the next 24 and 48 hours."

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