Eight dead and hundreds rescued from rooftops as rainfall exceeds annual averages in just a few days

The flood broke through the levee before daybreak. By the time many residents of Lismore in northern New South Wales woke up on Monday, the water had begun to lap at their doorsteps.

Those unable to flee climbed on to upper levels of their homes, then out on to their rooftops. Hundreds were rescued by boats and kayaks and jetskis; many others are still unaccounted for.

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