Australian floods claim first fatalities

Two deaths caused by Australia's worst floods in decades were reported on Wednesday.

They are the first known fatalities linked to the recent wild weather.

The bodies of two men were found in separate cars trapped by floodwaters in Sydney's northwest and in the neighbouring state of Queensland.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison flew over many of the affected areas of Sydney on Wednesday, and pledged to support those affected by the disaster:

"The damage will indeed be great and the government will be supporting each step of the way, as we go through the cleanup and the recovery process in partnership with the New South Wales government."

Torrential rain has sparked flash flooding, bulging rivers and major dam overflow.

More than 40,000 people have been forced to evacuate.

The scale of the damage is still being tallied, but the country's peak insurance body estimates damage claims to be around 193 million U.S. dollars across the states of New South Wales and Queensland.

And it's not over yet.

Forecasters said the weather system will shift to the island state of Tasmania on Wednesday.