Thousands urged to higher ground as Australia battles floods

SYDNEY: Australian authorities on Sunday (Dec 17) urged 1000’s of individuals in north Queensland state to maneuver to greater floor due to the hazard of flooding from torrential rains.

Queensland authorities stated main flooding was underway in some suburbs of Cairns, a vacationer hub of round 170,000 individuals positioned round 1,700km north of state capital Brisbane.

“Properties in these areas could proceed to expertise flooding with the approaching excessive tide and continued rainfall. Residents ought to transfer to greater floor now,” Queensland Fireplace and Emergency Companies stated on its web site in one in every of a number of emergency alerts for elements of north Queensland.

The flooding got here with heavy rain from ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper, which hit the area this week, leaving tens of 1000’s with out energy and forcing evacuations.

Australia’s climate forecaster predicted “harmful and life-threatening flash flooding” in Cairns – a gateway to the Nice Barrier Reef – and stated water ranges in a while Sunday may exceed a 1971 document flood peak of 4.1m.

Cairns Native Catastrophe Administration Group stated houses, buildings, roads and bridges had been inundated.

“Energy, water, sewerage and phone companies may very well be misplaced within the space,” the company stated in an announcement.

There was additionally flooding about 120 km north of Cairns within the vacationer city of Daintree Village, the place round 350mm of rain had fallen since 9 am on Saturday (2300 GMT on Friday), the climate forecaster stated.

A spokesperson for the forecaster, Dean Narramore, advised the Australian Broadcasting Corp the climate system had stalled however that it may transfer west in a single day, which might ease rain in Cairns and surrounding areas.

Frequent flooding has hit Australia’s east in recent times together with “as soon as in a century” floods that inundated neighbouring Northern Territory in January throughout a multi-year La Nina climate occasion.

Australia is now enduring an El Nino climate occasion, sometimes related to excessive occasions equivalent to wildfires, cyclones, droughts and heatwaves such because the one which baked elements of the nation on Saturday. 

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