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Deadly Floods Isolate Northern Australian Towns, Strand Families as Crocodiles Roam Streets

2 months ago
Featured image for the article "Deadly Floods Isolate Northern Australian Towns, Strand Families as Crocodiles Roam Streets"

Torrential downpours have inundated parts of northern Australia over recent days, cutting off towns, stranding families on rooftops overnight, and even sweeping crocodiles into populated areas.

The extreme weather is being driven by the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Jasper, which made landfall last week before stalling over Queensland state.

Cairns, a major gateway city to the Great Barrier Reef with a population exceeding 150,000, has been largely severed from the outside world amid the deluge.

On Sunday alone, about 300 rescues were carried out in Cairns and surrounding regions by emergency crews racing to save residents trapped by rising floodwaters.

While no deaths or injuries have been reported so far, the crisis is far from over. Forecasters are predicting further intense rainfall over the coming days, which is likely to hamper rescue efforts and cut off more communities.

Families Stranded Overnight as Floodwaters Rise

Over the weekend, Cairns recorded more than 300 millimeters of rain in just six hours, with total accumulations topping 650 millimeters over 19 hours. The sheer volume of water has submerged roads entirely, with shocking images emerging of vehicles half-submerged in muddy floodwaters at the closed Cairns Airport.

Dozens of families found themselves trapped on rooftops overnight Sunday into Monday as waters rose at alarming speeds.

Nine people, including a child, were stranded atop a hospital roof roughly 170 kilometers north of Cairns. Authorities have been ready to rescue them, but persistent heavy rain and low clouds have prevented aerial crews from safely reaching the site.

Across the broader region, rising waters cut power to approximately 15,000 homes and businesses. Flood impacts also extended to drinking water and sewage systems, prompting urgent public appeals for water conservation as supplies dwindled.

Clearing debris from blocked roads and restoring telecommunications networks will be a monumental task for crews once conditions improve sufficiently.


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