There was unusually heavy rainfall in northeastern Australia. Heavy rain turned torrents in some areas of the state of Queensland. Rescuers fetched people from boats and helicopters from the flooded areas. More than 1000 people were taken out of their homes to safety. People are still stuck in their homes. Police called on residents of particularly vulnerable areas in Townsville to move to higher-altitude neighborhoods.
For days floods and landslides have been reported from the city. In the city is now the summer rainy season, and February is the rainiest month. But in one week it rained almost as much as usual during the whole year. At the airport, Townsville 1012 millimeters of rain was measured according to the weather service. This is a seven-day record.
According to CNN, the authorities have had floodgates open the lock gates of the Ross dam above Townsville. As a result, about 2,000 houses were flooded. The Queensland government warned residents to get away from crocodiles, snakes and other wildlife.
The students were asked to stay at home. The residents are to create drinking water supplies because the floods could burst the pipes of the water treatment plant, reports CNN.
“The amount of water is simply incredible,” said resident Chris Brookehouse the station ABC. “Our basement is gone, the fridge and the freezer float in the water.” If the water rises five to six steps, the upper floor is flooded.
Queensland’s Prime Minister Annastasia Palaszczuk said further rains in Townsville and the surrounding area could cause flash floods. She spoke of an “event that only happens once every hundred years”. Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said, “We’re not over the mountain yet.”
The tropical northeast of Australia is always very rainy at this time of the year. This year, however, the rain masses are particularly large: the reason is a monsoon low-pressure area, which moves only very slowly from the place and releases large amounts of precipitation. The Australian weather agency estimates that the rains could continue for days.
While northeastern Australia is sinking in the water, other parts of the country continue to suffer from drought and bushfires. This January was the hottest month ever measured on the fifth continent.