A national emergency has been declared in Australia after the death toll from widespread east coast inundations climbed to 21.

Relentless rains since late last month have driven rivers overflowed in South-Eastern Australia, flood homes, farms and bridges, causing entire towns to be cut off.

So far, one people have been killed.

‘We know that this has been a devastating time up here that’ s likely passed the initial shock to many people and trauma associated with it,’ New South Wales state Premier Dominic Perrottet, from the worst-hit Northern Rivers region, said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, lagging in the polls ahead of the coming election, kept the media out of his meetings with flood victims, saying he was seeking privacy.

More than 1.200 people were left in shelters in the Northern Rivers Region and around 3.000 homes were considered unlivable, authorities said.

Rescue teams, including soldiers, used the laid-back conditions to clear debris and deliver basic necessities, but there was widespread anger for many residents who had been left without electricity and internet access for several days.

Amid criticism of the slow pace of aid, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is trailing in polls in election year, declared flood declarations a national emergency on Wednesday, declaring disaster zones in cities hit by flooding.

Scott Morrison

Scott John Morrison is an Australian politician serving as the 30th and current prime minister of Australia. (wikipedia)

Dominic Perrottet

Dominic Francis Perrottet is an Australian politician who is currently serving as the 46th premier of New South Wales and leader of the New South Wales division of the Liberal Party of Australia. (wikipedia)

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