PHOTOS: Volunteers fight to save Collaroy houses from a king tide

The sandbagging operation to protect properties at Collaroy. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

More than 500 volunteers worked to save houses under threat of collapsing from destructive waves at Collaroy on Sydney’s northern beaches.

The NSW SES Sydney northern Region wrote on its Facebook site this morning: “As the sun rises over the water at Collaroy this morning I can confirm that we have come out victors in our battle against mother nature. The sandbags held.”

Storms at the weekend stripped up to 50 metres of beachfront land at Collaroy, putting two apartment blocks and several houses close to tipping into the sea.

Last night the volunteers were fighting against time to build a protective sandbag wall to keep back a high tide at 10 pm.

Sandbags at Collaroy. Image: NSW SES Sydney Northern Region

The SES emergency response used 12,000 sandbags and 320 tonnes of sand to shore up the crumbling beachfront.

The volunteers included staff from NSW SES, NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, Surf Life Saving NSW, NSW Ambulance, Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue Squad, Volunteer Rescue Association, NSW Police Force, Warringah Council and local residents.

The storms have claimed the lives of at least four people.

Insurance companies have so far received 14,500 claims across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, with estimated losses of $56 million.

Photographs from last night:

The waves roll in

The waves at Cololaroy last night. Image: NSW SES

Sandbagging

NSW Rural Fire Service workers, Surf Lifesavers, Northern Beaches Council workers and local residents sand-bagging to protect properties at Collaroy Beach. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Debriefing

The debriefing following a sand-bagging operation to protect properties at Collaroy Beach. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

A king tide and massive waves. Watch this drone footage of the destruction along Collaroy captured by the UNSW Water Research Laboratory coastal monitoring team on the weekend:

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

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