Floods set to peak across Australian state of Tasmania, threaten historic city

A flooded playground in Deloraine, Tasmania, on June 7.
A flooded playground in Deloraine, Tasmania, on June 7.PHOTO: EPA

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Flooding in Tasmania - Australia's southernmost state - will peak on Wednesday (June 8), the country's Bureau of Meteorology said, threatening one of the country's oldest cities.

Australia's east coast was battered this week by heavy rains, bringing giant waves and cyclone-strength winds.

As the weather system moved south, it struck Tasmania in recent days. Parts of Tasmania recorded about a month's worth of rain.

The recent wild weather across Australia's east coast and Tasmania is likely to bring a wave of insurance claims. The deluge left at least one person dead, emergency workers said, and caused widespread damage across the state.

While the rains have eased, emergency workers said the threat to the state continues as floodwaters move downstream.

Floodwaters around Launceston - one of Australia's oldest cities - are expected to peak on Wednesday, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said.

As floods threaten, nearly 3,000 residents in the low-lying Launceston suburb of Invermay have been evacuated.