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Queensland Floods: Authorities Predicting it to be the Worst Flood in the Region’s History

Far north Queensland is facing with what authorities are predicting to be the worst flood in the region’s history. The event, triggered by record rainfall attributed to a tropical cyclone, has left thousands evacuated, planes submerged at Cairns airport, and even crocodiles spotted in floodwaters.

Queensland Floods: Authorities Predicting it to be the Worst Flood in the Region's History

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The situation remains dire as rainfall persists, causing flooding, power outages. As the torrential rain continues, thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes, with many others still stranded in remote areas.

The city of Cairns, which has received over 2 meters of rainfall since the weather event began, is facing a crisis. Queensland Premier Steven Miles described the natural disaster as about the worst I can remember.

Authorities are particularly concerned about the safety of those trapped in rising waters, including the remote town of Wujal Wujal, where emergency crews have struggled to reach nine individuals, including a sick child, who spent the night on the roof of the hospital.

Rescue operations have been underway, with emergency services conducting hundreds of rescues. However, the conditions, blocked roads, and the scale of the disaster is an obstacles to reaching those in need.

Aerial support has been limited due to unsafe weather conditions, and authorities are struggling with the enormity of the disaster, from providing rescue assistance to addressing concerns about drinking water, sewerage, power, and telecommunications.

The rainfall has records set during the flood event in 1977. The Daintree River, for instance, has exceeded its previous record by 2 meters after receiving a 820mm of rain in 24 hours.

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Several rivers are expected to break records, and forecasts indicate that the torrential rain will persist, the impact on low-lying communities.

The region’s vulnerability is by Eastern Australia’s ongoing struggle with frequent flooding and the current El Niño weather event, known for extreme phenomena such as wildfires and cyclones.

State officials estimate that the economic toll of this disaster will exceed A$1 billion, adding to the series of recent environmental challenges faced by Australia, including severe droughts, historic bushfires, mass bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef, and successive years of record-breaking floods.

The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report underlines the urgent need for climate action to mitigate the increasing frequency and severity of such disasters.

Emergency services, including the Australian Defence Force, have been mobilized to assist with rescue operations.

However, the scale of the disaster requires additional support. The federal government has pledged extra assistance, deploying up to 150 emergency service personnel and providing helicopter support for evacuations.

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Disaster recovery funding is being offered to affected residents, with grants available to cover essentials like food, clothing, and medicine.

The floodwaters have caused damage to infrastructure, including roads and bridges, making access to affected areas challenging.

Cairns airport, a transportation hub, remains closed as planes are submerged, and debris must be removed before normal operations can resume. The closure disrupts both incoming and outgoing flights.

As the disaster happening, parts of Cairns are facing a shortage of drinking water. Residents are urged to boil water due to limited supply, and conservation measures are to ensuring that the remaining water resources are prioritized for emergency use.

Cairns Regional Council Mayor Terry James addresses the need for urgent action, stating that it’s a race against time to prevent the city from running out of treated water.

The flooding has left numerous communities completely isolated, with roads cut off, power outages, and a lack of telecommunications.

Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr describes the damage, addressing the need for on-the-ground assistance, as it is virtually impossible to reach stranded people by land.

Aerial or sea evacuation options are being explored to ensure the safety of residents in these isolated areas.

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