Australian authorities to evacuate residents due to floods

Authorities prepared Tuesday to evacuate some residents of towns north of Sydney as floodwaters inundated parts of a second state in Australia even as wildfires blazed in the country's drought-parched south. Heavy rains in recent days have isolated the towns of Bellingen, Darkwood and Upper Thora in New South Wales, state Emergency Service spokesman Phil Campbell said. To the north, most of Queensland state has been flooded for weeks with more rain expected during the tropical monsoonal season. South of the New South Wales border, firefighters have had little rain to help them battle wildfires that have ravaged a parched landscape and that flared up on February 7 to kill at least 189 people.