More people were evacuated in Australia’s Victoria state on Monday as deadly flood waters continued to swamp huge swathes of land in the country’s southeast, and the State Emergency Service said as many as 76 towns in the state have been affected by the flooding.

According to the emergency service, the huge inland sea formed around 55 miles off Melbourne will continue to swell and career towards the Murray River, which is the country's longest river. The flood waters are expected to peak mid week, AP reported, quoting the emergency service.

Water from the Murray River began breaching the levees around the small town of Murrabit West on Monday, which will force the evacuation of several hundred residents from the area, reports said. On Sunday, hundreds of residents were moved from small settlements east of Swan Hill, a small town of 10,000 people, while about 50 properties are likely to be inundated in the area.

While the government is slated to announce its first cost estimates on Friday, the Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan has said the adverse effect of the floods will continue to torment the economy for several years. He said the economy has taken a blow by the floods which he estimated to be far more lethal than the one that afflicted the country in 1974.

Meanwhile, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) said on Friday the general insurance industry has now received 31,300 flood claims with an estimated insurable value of $1.2 billion. The figures cover claims from regional Queensland, Lockyer Valley, Toowoomba and Brisbane, and do not include large industrial and mining claims, the ICA said.

Incessant rains, which started in November, had flooded a huge part of Queensland and damaged around 30,000 properties and left at least 30 people dead.