Around 34,000 homes may be inundated because of extreme flooding in southeast Australia, according to an official comment made on Monday.

Some towns are now facing their highest river peak for decades, including the most severely affected state of Victoria.

Murray Watt, the federal emergency management minister, told Australian Broadcasting Corp: “It’s quite likely we’ll see a flood peak happen and waters recede, followed by another peak, as different river systems come together.”

Watt also predicted that we “could be looking at up to 9,000 homes inundated in northern Victoria and potentially close to about 34,000 homes in Victoria either inundated or isolated.”

In the past week, two people have drowned and two were reported missing in Victoria and New South Wales.

This includes a 71-year-old man who was found dead in the backyard of his home in Rochester’s floodwaters on Saturday.

It is estimated that 85% of Rochester had been flooded by the overflowing Campaspe River over the weekend, according to chief operating officer at Victoria State Emergency Service, Tim Wiebusch.

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Kerang, a rural town located in the northern Victorian region, is likely to remain isolated for up to 7 days when the Loddon River peaks on Wednesday or Thursday, according to Wiebusch.

Thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes, as well as close schools and roads in southeast Australia.

Local emergency services delivered an emergency warning urging residents to seek shelter in high locations after the floodwaters blocked pathways to evacuate.

Despite October usually being known for its wildfires in the southern hemisphere’s spring season, this year the three states most prone to dry landscape fires are now enduring record-breaking floods.

A third successive “La Niña” period was declared by the Bureau of Meteorology last month to be expected to peak this season. This rarely consecutive weather pattern involves warm water being blown across the Pacific ocean from South America to Indonesia.